The WorldFish Center's mission is to reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture in developing countries. The GIFT technology consists of a series of scientifically proven steps that, when applied in the context of a well conducted program, have dramatically improved the rate of growth, and hence the productivity of Nile Tilapia, and culminated in the development of the GIFT strain. This hardy, disease resistant species is grown in aquaculture systems, often with poor water quality, and is especially suited to the capacities of resource-poor farmers in developing countries.
Fish is a crucial food source for millions of people throughout the world and is an excellent source of affordable protein, lipids and micronutrients. Unfortunately, over 75 per cent of the world's wild capture fisheries are either fully exploited or over-exploited and their current rate of growth is less than two per cent, quite insufficient to meet the demands from an increasing human population.
The GIFT technology entails selective breeding of tropical food fish. It constitutes an adaptation of the production-enhancing technologies that have been so widely and successfully applied to livestock breeding. It uses conventional artificial selection, whereby in each generation the best progeny with respect to the desired characteristics are chosen as the parents of the next generation. The application of the GIFT technology results in the creation of more productive, superior strains of food fish.