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CGIAR is only one of many organizations engaged in aquatic agricultural systems. Other research, development and policy organizations spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to improve the lives of people who depend upon these systems.

Our Research

CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems research is designed to improve the wellbeing of people dependent on aquatic agricultural systems.

Our Approach

The complexity and diversity of communities that rely on aquatic agricultural systems means that there can be no single blueprint solution to the challenges they face.


Where We Work

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems is initially focusing on three major types of Aquatic Agricultural Systems:


Boosting nutrition and livelihoods in Zambia through the chisense fishery

For the people of Zambia, especially the poor, fish is the most important and sometimes only source of animal protein and other essential nutrients. However, the per capita supply of fish today is only half of what it was 30 years ago, due to stagnating production, growing populations and increasingly competitive trade. Projections for future supplies are that fish will become increasingly expensive also in Zambia. Currently Zambian households in most parts of the country spend more money on fish than on any other food item, including staple foods and other animal products. If this trend continues, there are concerns that fish may slip out of the reach of the poor – with far-reaching implications for national nutrition security and public health.

Building Livelihood Security and Reducing Conflict in Freshwater Ecoregions

The freshwater ecoregions of Lake Victoria, Lake Kariba and the Tonle Sap Lake are characterized by persistent poverty, high dependence on aquatic resources to provide food security and livelihoods, and intense resource competition. Moreover, significant new pressures have the potential to lead to broader social conflict if not addressed adequately, such as a further increase in the number of local resource users (through population growth, migration and displacement); commercial exploitation of limited resources; competition over water for agriculture and hydropower; and climate change.

Improved value chains

Fish Market, Cambodia
As a research organization dedicated to helping achieve development impact we generate and synthesize new knowledge which we then share and help apply. One of the key research questions that we address is: “How can we improve input and output value chains to increase the development impact of aquaculture and fisheries?”
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