Employment generation in the Egyptian aquaculture value chain

Aquaculture is an important sector with high potential, not only to provide nutritious food but also to contribute to the national economy, and the aquaculture value chain provides substantial employment generation opportunities, including jobs for females and youths. The Sustainable Transformation of Egypt’s Aquaculture Market System (STREAMS) project is being funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for three years to support the Egyptian aquaculture sector. The project’s mid-term review and steering committee, which requested an assessment about job creation in the aquaculture value chain to review the existing estimates, reported 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs per 100 t of fish produced (Macfadyen et al. 2011). This study assesses employment generation along the main stages of the aquaculture value chain—namely hatcheries, feed mills, fish farms, and fish trade and retail. It also discusses the potential of job generation across the sector to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study was conducted in April and May 2018 and included surveys in hatcheries (N=40), feed mills (N=14), fish farms (N=234), and fish trading and retailing (N=182) in the five governorates responsible for 80% of the national aquaculture output. We estimate that aquaculture generates 19.1 FTE jobs per 100 t of fish produced along the entire value chain. However, most of these are for males over 30 years old, with few jobs for females and younger people. Most jobs for females are currently generated at the retailing stage. Boosting employment generation across the entire value chain, especially for females and youths, could contribute to the attainment of multiple SDGs related to gender equality
(SDG 5) and decent employment (SDG 8).