This manual is intended for the use by the current and prospective small-scale aqua farmer groups who are interested in obtaining accreditation for their production process. The objective is to provide them an easy-to-follow, stepwise guide that can be used as a practical tool in their venture of attaining group certification. However, this can be used by the field extension officers and certifiers who are directly involved in the process and any other party who is interested in being informed about the concepts and practice of aqua-farmer group formation, group functioning and certification.

The main focus of this manual is to provide assistance in the process of group formation, group functioning and group certification, hence, does not provide any technical information on other aquaculture practices.

The manual is based on the outcomes of a pilot project carried out in India, under the auspices of NACA and MPEDA / NaCSA, for the development of a methodology for group certification of small scale aquaculture farms. However, the information in the manual has been generalised to benefit a larger audience in the Asia Pacific region.

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NACA publishes technical papers and manuals for a wide variety of farming systems and related environmental and social issues. Many of these provide guidance on better management practices with a view to improving crop outcomes and on-farm resource utilisation efficiency. By using inputs such as feed and power more efficiently, farmers can simultaneously improve their profitability and environmental performance.