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The ECRDA is developing a vibrant and thriving marine tilapia industry in the Eastern Cape. The development of the industry should act as a catalyst for food, feed and job security.

Furthermore, at roll-out stage, the industry should drive the improvement of the socio-economic fortunes of historically disadvantaged communities. This is particularly true for those residents located in coastal rural communities.


The establishment of the marine tilapia industry in rural coastal communities is an exciting prospect because of the Eastern Cape’s excellent potential for thriving aquaculture sector.

Tilapia are recognised throughout the world as a desirable eating fish which has a firm white flesh as well as a bland taste that makes it suitable for diverse cooking and preparation methods. The plan is to establish the marine tilapia industry in a phased approach over a 13 – 15-year period. The final output at the end of this period is 100,000 tonnes a year. This is 100 times the current abalone farming output. An estimated investment of R19,2 billion is required to develop the industry to the desired scale. This figure is comprised of R15 billion for the supporting bulk infrastructure costs as well as R4,2 billion of private investment.


Qwaninga Farm 308 in the Qora River in the Mbhashe Local Municipality has been identified as the site for the establishment of a Marine Tilapia Industry Incubator. The incubator will be a support base for the development of the entire industry. The incubator will comprise of a quarantine facility for fish secured from the wild which will be used as breed stock for baby fish in order to stock the fish farms. The incubator will have a genetic enhancement facility which improves the genetic integrity of the fish as well as a training facility which will teach local communities various aquaculture practices, regenerative crop farming and adult basic education.

It will also house a research and development facility as well as managerial offices. The plan is to establish the incubator on a floor area of 30 hectares with farms occupying the majority of this space. There will be a fish farm which will produce 2,000 tonnes of the low production cost Mozambique marine tilapia. There will also be experimental farms involving integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems and experimental farms on crop farming and for training purposes. The land is communally-owned and leased.


Talk to us if you would like to participate in this programme and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the development of this industry for coastal communities.

Head Office

3-33 Phillip Frame Road,
Waverley Office Park,
2nd Floor, Chiselhurst,
East London, 5201

Head Office

3-33 Phillip Frame Road,
Waverley Office Park,
2nd Floor, Chiselhurst,
East London, 5201

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About Us

Vision and mission of the ECRDA

Guiding Principles

The values that underpin the
vision and mission of ECRDA


ECRDA’s policy and legislative mandates

Organisational Structure

The leadership structure of

Board of Directors

Board charged with guiding the ECRDA’s overall plans


The leadership team that ensure execution of the boards plans


Farmers are supported so that they can effectively compete in the global market place.

Cannabis and Hemp

Promoting the growth and development of the cannabis and hemp industry.

Forestry Development

A strong community focus.

Marine Tilapia Industry

Development of a thriving marine tilapia industry.

Wool and Mohair

Developing competitiveness of small-scale farmers.

Rural Finance

Finance that stimulates vibrant rural economic activity.