Several organizations and institutions in the country are involved in tilapia research. They are the University of the West Indies and the Institute of Marine Affairs. The major research and development areas are: enhancement of tilapia broodstock by selective breeding, improved technology for hormonal sex reversal, improved nutrition and feed management, improved production technology including water quality management, and use of locally available raw materials and by-products of agro-industries in formulation of practical tilapia diets (Ramnarine, 1998).
Various institutions provide technical advice to farmers and conduct field visits, and workshops are held occasionally. The University of the West Indies, the Institute of Marine Affairs and the Fisheries Division have produced literature on tilapia production methods and pond construction. Seedstock is currently available through the Institute of Marine Affairs, the Sugarcane Feeds Centre and several private hatcheries. The Government provides a 50% subsidy on the construction of ponds to a maximum of $US3 175, and a 50% subsidy on the production cost of freshwater fish up to a maximum of $US0.80 per kg of fish produced to a maximum payment of $US1 587 per farmer per annum. Aquaculture equipment, feed, and broodstock may be imported duty free and no value-added tax is payable. Concessions may also be given on vehicles and tractors that are used in aquaculture projects. These various incentives came into effect in 1999, and it is the Government's attempt to develop the aquaculture industry. In addition, the state-owned Agricultural Development Bank, and commercial banks grant loans for aquaculture. Incentives for aquaculture are currently being revised in an effort to promote the development of the industry.