Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

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AFSPAN Final Technical Report now available!

AFSPAN Final Technical Report

>>> Download the AFSPAN Final Technical Report

Executive summary

The objectives of the Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition (AFSPAN) project were to strengthen the knowledge base and develop new and more rigorous methodologies of quantifying the contribution of aquaculture to combat hunger and poverty, thus providing the evidence upon which sound strategies, policies and research programs can be developed to support the sustainable expansion of aquaculture to maximise its impact on food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation.

The three-year project was implemented by eighteen partners in eleven Asian, African and South American developing and Low Income, Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), encompassing the spectrum of development conditions and role of aquaculture in national economies. The partnership also included EU partners and international organisations.

A theory of change was elaborated and range of analytical frameworks, economic models and indicators, complemented by surveys and case studies developed. The contribution of aquaculture to national GDP, excluding multiplier effects, was found to vary from negligible in countries with emergent aquaculture sectors up to 5% or more of national GDP in countries where the sector is very dynamic. Aquaculture was shown to have helped lower global fish prices, increasing economic access for all but the very poorest consumers. Although households engaging in aquaculture were found less likely to be poor than those that did not, poor households too benefitted from engaging in fish farming, irrespective of scale of operation. Fish consumption rates of households engaged in fish farming were typically higher than national averages.

Both immanent (e.g. economic growth) and interventionist (the implementation of policies promoting aquaculture development, improving governance and capacity) factors, as well as institutional arrangements, public-private partnerships and pioneering companies and individuals, were found to be capable of creating enabling conditions for aquaculture growth. Socio-cultural factors, especially gender and ethnicity, were also important: interventions tailored to match given specific socio-cultural contexts were most likely to lead to successful adoption and retention and delivery of equitable development outcomes, thereby producing lasting impact on livelihoods.

The volumes of seafood exported from developing to developed countries were found to approximate those of seafood imported by developing from developed countries. While expensive seafood may be being exchanged for cheaper but not necessarily less nutritious seafood, thereby minimising threats to food security, there remains a lack of supporting evidence that this is the case. With the exception of Bangladesh no policies or interventions linking fish, aquaculture and nutrition were found in study countries and little is included in nutrition education on aquatic animal foods.

Project outputs are being disseminated among the development community to help improve efficiency and coordination of development initiatives focused on aquaculture that promotes food and nutrition security and alleviates poverty and helps focus research on addressing researchable gaps. The development of science outputs has also begun.

Video presentations from the International Symposium on Small-scale Freshwater Aquaculture Extension

Posted on 15/5/2014 | 1118 reads | Tags: Better management practices, Food security, Nutrition, Policy

Audio and video recordings of technical presentations made at the symposium are now available for download or online viewing.

The main objective of this symposium was to provide a venue for information sharing on extension of small-scale aquaculture, specifically targeted to those individuals and relevant organisations involved in various aquaculture development projects. The symposium also assessed and presented the effectiveness of “farmer-to-farmer extension” approaches in the implementation of relevant aquaculture development projects in the region.

World population is projected to increase drastically in the coming decades which might bring about shortage of food. Freshwater fish are considered to be one of the most promising commodities that can contribute to increased food production in a sustainable manner. Common in the Asia-Pacific region, freshwater aquaculture provides diverse benefits to rural farmers including income generation, improved nutrition and sustainable livelihoods through integrated farming system.

The symposium was organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), NACA and the Thai Department of Fisheries for stakeholders involved in the JICA-assisted projects in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Benin and Madagascar. The symposium was also attended by representatives from other countries in Asia and Africa including Cote d’ Ivoire, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines and Zambia.

Nicaragua plans for sustainable development of small-scale aquaculture

Posted on 4/3/2014 | 3482 reads | Tags: Better management practices, Food security, Nicaragua, Nutrition, Policy, Poverty

The national plan for the sustainable development of small-scale aquaculture and limited resources (APERL), an alternative for growth and poverty alleviation for smallholder farmers in Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INPESCA) is currently executing a program to support aquaculture in rural areas of Nicaragua, known as the national plan for sustainable development of small-scale aquaculture and limited resources (APERL). This program aims to strengthen small-scale aquaculture in Nicaragua and ensure food security for vulnerable households, while taking on the challenge of integrating aquaculture with the environment in a sustainable manner.

Shrimp cooperatives from Nicaragua upgrade production with assistance from Serviconsa and USAID

Posted on 4/3/2014 | 2677 reads | Tags: Better management practices, Nicaragua, Poverty

The shrimp cooperatives of Western Nicaragua (APEMAC), in strategic partnership with the private sector (SERVICONSA), have recently upgraded their production system through technical assistance provided by USAID's Enterprise and Employment Project.

Exports of Nicaraguan farmed shrimps totalled US$106.3 million last year, according to the Center for Export Processing (CETREX).

Six farmed shrimp cooperatives located in the Estero Real, Chinandega, Nicaragua, who benefited from USAID's Enterprise and Employment Project, improved their production by 175%, which in turn allowed them to enter the European market.

Through technical assistance from the Enterprise and Employment Program shrimp cooperatives registered with APEMAC saw an increase in production from 180 kilograms per hectare to an average of 500 kilograms per hectare, and all six cooperatives successfully exported 100% of their production, mainly to Europe.

Aquaculture and adaptation to climate change

Posted on 30/10/2013 | 1482 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.

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