Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

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Fish farms to produce nearly two thirds of global food fish supply by 2030

Posted on 11/2/2014 | 1683 reads | Tags: Nutrition, Food security

New joint report by World Bank, FAO, and the International Food Policy Research Institute looks at prospects for fisheries and aquaculture

5 February 2014, Washington/Rome - Aquaculture — or fish farming — will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030 as catches from wild capture fisheries level off and demand from an emerging global middle class, especially in China, substantially increases.

These are among the key findings of "Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture," a collaboration between the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), released today. The report highlights the extent of global trade in seafood which tends to flow heavily from developing to developed countries.

According to FAO, at present 38 percent of all fish produced in the world is exported and in value terms, over two thirds of fishery exports by developing countries are directed to developed countries. The "Fish to 2030" report finds that a major and growing market for fish is coming from China which is projected to account for 38 percent of global consumption of food fish by 2030. China and many other nations are increasing their investments in aquaculture to help meet this growing demand.

Asia — including South Asia, South-East Asia, China and Japan — is projected to make up 70 percent of global fish consumption by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, is expected to see a per capita fish consumption decline of 1 percent per year from 2010 to 2030 but, due to rapid population growth of 2.3 percent in the same period, the region's total fish consumption will grow by 30 percent overall.

The report predicts that 62 percent of food fish will come from aquaculture by 2030 with the fastest supply growth likely to come from tilapia, carp, and catfish. Global tilapia production is expected to almost double from 4.3 million tons to 7.3 million tons a year between 2010 and 2030.

AFSPAN activities in the Philippines

Posted on 10/1/2014 | 2240 reads | Tags: Poverty, Philippines, Nutrition, Food security

The Philippines is one of the 11 countries worldwide that participates in an EU-funded study to determine the role of aquaculture in food security, poverty alleviation and nutrition (AFSPAN), which is being coordinated by FAO. The main objective of the project is to be able to quantify the contribution of aquaculture towards food security, poverty alleviation and nutrition.

Aside from the Philippines, other partner countries include Bangladesh, China, India and Vietnam in Asia; Kenya, Uganda and Zambia in Africa; Brazil, Chile and Nicaragua in South America. The project is composed of 9 working packages and one of the work packages is to develop methodologies that will effectively quantify the contribution of aquaculture to food security, poverty alleviation and nutrition in a global scale. This is a very challenging task considering the differences in how aquaculture is practiced in various countries in the world.

Towards this, a survey of farms and households involved in aquaculture in the Philippines was conducted from March-June 2013 using questionnaires that were carefully crafted to be “universal in application”. For the farm surveys, the Philippines focus is on the top four commodities that are produced in the country and these are seaweeds, milkfish, tilapia and shrimp. Similarly, the household surveys include the families that are involved in the production of these commodities. The surveys were done all over the country targeting about 120 representative farmers and families who are cultivating the target commodities and covering small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale operations.

With the recent catastrophe of super typhoon “Haiyan” that hit the central part of the Philippines on 8 November 2013, the question that is being asked now is how fast the fisheries and aquaculture sector can recover from the massive destruction. An early recovery is what is hoped for by everyone so that fish supply for domestic consumption and for the international trade will not be significantly affected.

India and AFSPAN

Posted by Vishnu Bhat | 12/12/2013 | 2480 reads | Tags: Poverty, Nutrition, India, Food security

India is the second largest global fish producer after China in terms of aquaculture production. The present annual production from freshwater and brackish water aquaculture in India is estimated to be around 4.18 million tonnes and 0.25 million tonnes, respectively. Indian aquaculture has come a long way from being a traditional subsistence-level activity to a predominantly commercial enterprise in recent years, and plays a significant role as a source of food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation and overall rural development.

With diverse resources ranging from deep seas to lakes in the mountains and more than 10% of the global biodiversity in terms of fish and shellfish species, India has shown continuous and sustained increments in aquaculture production in recent years. The present scenario is that freshwater aquaculture, notably carp culture, is witnessing considerable growth with minor contributions from catfish and freshwater prawns. Similarly, the export-oriented shrimp aquaculture in coastal areas has also been growing in a rapid way.

Freshwater aquaculture, which represents about 84% of India's total production by volume, is the mainstay of Indian fisheries and aquaculture. Much of this contribution is from Indian major carps farmed through pond culture or raised in freshwater tanks and other water bodies. In fact, in India, the aquaculture sector started as a subsistence fishery amongst small and marginal farmers, subsequently, owing to export demand and other commercial gains, coastal aquaculture developed on a commercial scale with the involvement of enterprising entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, the aquaculture sector is dominated by small and marginal farmers who represent more than 90% of the industry, considering the farm holding and the number of farmers involved. Most of them are resource poor in terms of skills, financial capacity and other technical aspects.

Aquaculture and adaptation to climate change

Posted on 30/10/2013 | 1616 reads | Tags: Better management practices, Food security, Social issues, Sustainability

Rohana Subasinghe, Senior Aquaculture Officer, FAO, talks about the risks and challenges of aquaculture in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and the specific situation of small-scale aqua-farmers.

Subasinghe advices to implement good management practices to avoid diseases. He points out the risks of diseases due to intensive concentrated production. Most of the fishes that we eat come from aquaculture and are produced by small-scale farmers. The challenge is to set up the required policies, regulations and institutional environment in the ACP countries to ensure aquaculture brings them a fair income, good nutrition and decent livelihoods.

This video was presented at a session on “Aquaculture nutrition: addressing the long-term sustainability of the sector” as part of the Brussels Briefing "Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system" organized by CTA Brussels at the ACP Secretariat.

International Symposium on Small-scale Freshwater Aquaculture Extension, 2-5 December, Bangkok

Posted on 28/10/2013 | 1850 reads | Tags: Better management practices, Food security, Nutrition, Sustainability

World population is projected to increase drastically in the coming decades, threatening the food and nutritional security of the masses and particularly of the poor. Greater attention on agricultural resource management is essential. Among the different sources of animal protein, freshwater fish are considered to be one of the most promising commodities that can contribute significantly to food security and nutrition. Moreover, small-scale aquaculture, common in the Asia-Pacific region, provides additional benefits to rural communities including income generation, nutritional improvement, and sustainable practices through integrated farming systems.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been involved in the development of small-scale aquaculture through technical cooperation projects (TCPs) in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which demonstrate the effectiveness of “farmer-to-farmer extension” approaches in rural aquaculture. In these TCPs, core farmers who produce fingerlings are motivated to teach grow-out to others using simple techniques so that they can acquire patronage of clients and expand market outlets. It is noteworthy that such system not only provide economic benefit to the core farmers but also enhance their social role as local leaders and/or extension workers. This approach is not totally new, especially in the agriculture sector. However, the experiences, lessons learned and findings from these JICA-implemented TCPs on small-scale aquaculture are worth sharing with other stakeholders, and as a reference for better management practices.

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