Improved Tilapia Benefits Asia

In 1987, the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM, now the WorldFish Center) and a number of research agencies launched a collaborative project called Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapia, or GIFT. The objective of the GIFT project was to raise fish productivity amongst low-income fishers in order to increase protein consumption in poor populations in developing countries. This brief documents the achievements of the project, including, among others, the systematic collection of improved germplasm, the development of a selected breeding approach, the creation of a genetically diverse base population and adoption of improved tilapia on a wide scale. The development and dissemination of GIFT has proved a worthwhile investment with an internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 70 per cent.