Indonesia is the second largest producer of seafood after China. Its aquaculture sector is growing rapidly producing shrimp, fish, other aquatic animals and seaweed to feed its people and to develop lucrative export markets. Challenges to support this rapid growth in aquaculture include: human resource capacity particularly in key areas of supply chain management, aquatic animal health, and aquaculture systems development.
Education and training is crucial to the necessary human resource development but Indonesian institutions require strengthening to build capacity (particularly in regional Indonesia). Research and development is needed to address other challenges including aquatic animal health, feed and nutrition, brood stock development, and seafood product quality. Research capacity is, in general, poorly developed in Indonesia. Indonesia lags behind neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia in research performance. Institutional strengthening and capacity building is required.
A UNIDO program on research skills development is proceeding in collaboration with the Jakarta Fisheries University (Sekolah Tinggi Perikanan) and the University of Tasmania (Australia). Staff are learning how to prepare and publish a scientific paper. One workshop has already been held in Jakarta and a second is developing themes responsive to key priorities in seafood product development, aquaculture, aquatic resources management, and seafood technology. An emphasis is on evidence-based approaches to address key research questions in these thematic areas. Progress is being made but there is a need for a systemic, country-wide approach to improve capacity. Innovation linked to human resource capacity will be a key driver of sustainable prosperity delivering the needed social and economic well-being to Indonesia. The UNIDO program is continuing with a final workshop in November 2017.