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.

Coordinated efforts in aquaculture needed to meet global demand

Posted by FAO | 17/10/2013 | 1957 reads | Tags: Cooperation, Food security, Sustainability

Global partnership to find sustainable solutions ‘imperative’, FAO says

15 October 2013, Rome/St Petersburg, Russia – The creation of a global partnership to help ensure that the world’s fish supplies can keep pace with booming demand has received a green light from FAO’s Sub-Committee on Aquaculture.

Over 50 countries endorsed the Global Aquaculture Advancement Partnership (GAAP) programme, which will bring together governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to find sustainable solutions to meeting the need for fish products.

Aquaculture already supplies nearly 50 percent – or nearly 63 million tonnes – of fish consumed globally, and with production from wild fish stocks levelling off, it will fall to fish farmers to supply the estimated 50 million additional tonnes required to feed the rising world population by 2030.

Full story: FAO website.

Preliminary report of desk study on regional/international cooperation activities

Posted on 4/12/2012 | 2821 reads | Tags: Cooperation
Download preliminary report of desk study on regional/international cooperation activities

A preliminary report of a desk study on regional/international cooperation activities is now available for download.

The objective of the AFSPAN Work Package Review and assessment of national and international cooperation is to review past and on-going cooperation activities focussed on promoting aquaculture in a food security context.

The activities under this work package include: conducting review focusing on regional and international cooperation activities, FAO projects, WorldFish Center projects, relevant CGIAR programmes (including CPR1.3) and projects supported/financed by other donors and development partners and/or implemented by national governments.

The present report deals with the deliverable 3.1 “Preliminarily report on desk study on regional/international cooperation activities’’ which was prepared by the 11 country partners of AFSPAN (Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Philippines, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia) and synthesised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The desk study revealed that there are significant difference between 11 countries in term of the national projects, regional and international cooperation activities. It also identified number of ongoing projects that would be important for AFSPAN project to closely communicate and work in a synergistic and complementary manner. Initial findings are already embedded in the assessment tool which is being developed.

The present preliminarily report and its findings will be shared and discussed amongst the partners, and each work package will be further refined for better approach and cooperation.

A comprehensive analysis and synthesis of national information on aquaculture development projects and activities is currently being done.

FAO DG meets EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs

Posted by Rohana Subasinghe | 15/11/2012 | 2152 reads | Tags: Cooperation

FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva meets Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Rome. They discussed key fisheries issues including joint collaboration on aquaculture. For further details click here.

AFSPAN gets underway

Posted on 16/9/2012 | 2943 reads | Tags: Cooperation

The first meeting of the AFSPAN Project has concluded in Penang, Malaysia, hosted by the WorldFish Center from 10 to 13 September. 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.

Understanding aquaculture's role in food security, poverty alleviation and nutrition

Information on the direct and indirect socio-economic impacts of aquaculture is limited in most developing countries. While aquaculture is often advocated as a tool for rural development, there are large gaps in the existing research base and many issues such as the contribution of aquaculture to human health, nutrition and micronutrients critical child development are often simply overlooked. As a result, aquaculture is often overlooked as a possible development assistance intervention, or conversely, may be introduced in inappropriate circumstances.

AFSPAN's goal is to develop methodologies that can be applied to understand the 'big picture' role of aquaculture in a development context. The project seeks to build an inter-disciplinary framework for a wholistic assessment of aquaculture across a broad range of indicators, incorporating food security, poverty alleviation and human nutrition issues and the linkages between them. It is anticipated that a better understanding of the role of aquaculture will permit more effective targeting of aquaculture-related development assistance interventions.

Developing the framework

The crux of the workshop was a joint review of the work programme 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. The work programme will operate across twelve developing and low-income food deficit countries, with the involvement of 20 partner organisations.

In the coming weeks and months, AFSPAN partners will share their work and experience through this website. If you would like to keep up to date with developments, you may like to subscribe to the email newsletter via the form in the right column of the page, or subscribe to the AFSPAN RSS feed.

Participants in the AFSPAN Inception Workshop, 10-13 September, Penang, Malaysia
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