Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition


AFSPAN conceptual framework and relationship to the Millennium Development Goals

To provide food to a world population expected to surpass 9 billion in 2050, it has been estimated that agricultural output, originating primarily from crops, livestock and fisheries, including aquaculture must increase by 70%. Meeting this target is a formidable challenge for the international community considering that an alarming number of people, currently around one billion, or one-sixth of humanity, presently suffer from hunger and poverty. Finding opportunities to alleviate poverty and increase food security through agriculture is vital and timely.

The contribution of aquaculture to food security, nutrition, employment creation, income generation and women’s empowerment is significant, globally, and must be enhanced. However, it is recognised that the current knowledge and understanding of aquaculture’s contribution to human development is inadequate and that better tools, and more systematic and quantitative assessments are needed to improve the current knowledge and information base. Better understanding of this contribution is expected to assist low-income food-deficit countries and development partners to develop and implement sustainable policies, strategies and plans for improving the livelihoods of millions of poor people.

The objective of this project is to better understand the current status of the contribution of aquaculture to food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation. In particular, the project will:

  1. Review the current knowledge on the contribution of aquaculture to food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation.
  2. Develop methodologies for better assessment of this contribution.
  3. Disseminate widely among countries, governments and civil society, the knowledge gained.
  4. Elaborate strategies for improving the contribution of aquaculture to food security, nutrition and poverty alleviation.

The AFSPAN project will present novel and innovative strategies to development partners, in particular the EU, and contribute to promoting enhanced coordination and stimulate synergies between Member States and EU initiatives related to international cooperation aiming at developing aquaculture as means of combating food insecurity.

The twenty project partners include key institutions with strong technical competence in the areas of research, development project implementation and dissemination needed for the success of the project, and represent countries where aquaculture has made a major contribution to national economies, involves large numbers of small-scale farms and tthat have significant international trade of fisheries products.

AFSPAN partners will conduct field-based research and activities to gather grass-root information and data, as well as verify national information collected through the review process. The project focuses on review of literature and information, development and verification of assessment methodologies, national reviews, assessments, case studies, as well as final synthesis of research findings.

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