Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

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AFSPAN - video documentary of findings

Posted on 27/10/2015 | 1035 reads | Tags: Food security, Health, Nutrition, Policy, Poverty, Publications, Social issues

This short (thirteen minute) video provides an overview of the findings and outcomes of the AFSPAN Project, focusing on the role of aquaculture in food security, poverty alleviation, human health and nutrition. For more detail please download the AFSPAN Project Final Technical Report.

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.

Literature review on the potential contribution of fish-related activities to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation

Posted on 12/2/2013 | 3896 reads | Tags: Publications, Poverty, Nutrition, Food security
Literature Review on the potential contribution of fish-related activities to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation

A Literature review on the potential contribution of fish-related activities to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation is now available for download. The review is a component of Work Package 2: Assessment methodologies, indicators and framework.

The objective of this document is to review the literature that has been published so far on the potential contribution of fish-related activities (aquaculture and fisheries) to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation. This body of literature –which is found essentially in the aquaculture/fisheries literature, but also for some parts in the nutrition literature- turns out to be relatively heterogeneous and scattered, relying on different types of indicators and data. This information, which has been generated by different methodologies, applied at various scale (household, community, national levels), offers therefore very limited possibility for rigorous comparison or aggregation across projects, location or countries.

In this report the task consisted in collating these analyses and producing the first comprehensive overview of the data and methods used to assess and quantify the role of aquaculture in improving food, nutrition and livelihood in Low Income and Food Deficient countries (LIFDCs). As part of this process, those different analyses were assessed and particular attention was paid to highlight not only the information generated but also the gap in knowledge where more research is needed.

Sixty five documents (peer-reviewed articles, project reports, international agencies’ reports) were identified and reviewed. To maximize the range of the assessment, the review included both aquaculture and fisheries documents. The complete list of these documents is presented at the end of this document.

Aquaculture sustainability: Towards 2030 (video)

Posted on 6/12/2012 | 3987 reads | Tags: Publications, Poverty, Nutrition, Food security

This video presentation by FAO's Dr Rohana Subasinghe examines the future of aquaculture production in the context of food security out to 2030. Issues covered include projected demand for fisheries products, supply issues for both wild fisheries and aquaculture and the challenges that lay ahead in bridging the gap. The presentation was given at the FAO-APFIC-NACA Consultation on Sustainable Intensification of Aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific Region, 9-11 October, Bangkok.

A larger, higher quality version is available for download (36.8 MB) or you can view it online (please note, you will need Windows Media Player V12 to view this file).

Aquaculture sustainability: Towards 2030

Report of the AFSPAN Inception Workshop available for download

Posted on 14/11/2012 | 2507 reads | Tags: Publications
Inception Report of the AFSPAN Project

The Inception Workshop Report for the AFSPAN Project is now available for download. The workshop was concluded in Penang, Malaysia, hosted by the WorldFish Center from 10 to 13 September 2012. The inception workshop was convened to allow technical and country partners to discuss the work programme, identify in-country data gathering requirements and to develop implementation strategies for the project. The focus of the workshop was a joint review of the work-packages by all partners, including discussion on prospective case studies and data collection arrangements. The project is being implemented through a set of nine work-packages investigating different aspects including the role of aquaculture systems, social and cultural issues, nutrition, trade and markets and international cooperation. These will contribute to the development of an integrated analytical framework for quantifying the contribution of aquaculture in a broad development context.

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