EU_(Artemia4Bangladesh) Introducing circularity through climate-smart aquaculture in Bangladesh_Quarterly progress report_March 2022 - May 2022

The objectives of the report are to describe about the progress made, challenges faced, opportunities identified and lessons learned during March-May 2022 of the Artemia4Bangladesh project. The major accomplishments achieved during this period include- i. Eight hundred kg of Artemia biomass and 10 kg of Artemia cyst (wet weight) produced during this period. Laboratory analysis showed that Artemia biomass were free from selected shrimp pathogens/diseases (white spot syndrome virus, acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease, enterocytozoon hepatopenaei). The nutritional analysis showed that Artemia biomass is rich with protein and fat (43-55% crude protein, 6-7% crude fat) ii. Artemia biomass were supplied to 11 shrimp hatcheries, one freshwater fish hatchery (produce carp and catfish), shrimp post larvae (PL) rearing in hapas, and in grow-out ponds. Artemia biomass were fed to 341 million shrimp (Penaeus monodon) PL, 0.5 million shrimp juveniles, 1250 shrimp broodstock and 875 fish broodstock of improved srain of genetically improved rohu (Labeo rohita) and walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) iii. Twenty nine women farmers in establishing homestead aquaculture demonstration ponds using carp, tilapia and micronutrient rich fish mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) to support household fish consumption were selected and agreement finalized. Twenty marine aquaculture demonstration farmers to grow fish and shrimp were selected, agreements between WorldFish and the farmers are under processing iv. Three consultation meetings with stakeholders (governmental and non-governmental organizations, shrimp hatcheries, salt-Artemia and aquaculture farmers) and one progress review meeting organized in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, Government of Bangladesh. Representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh participated in a consultation meeting held in May combined with field visit to Artemia and aquaculture farmers and shrimp hatcheries v. Two partnership agreement finalized with two partners, (a) non-governmental organization namely COAST Foundation and (b) a shrimp hatchery in Cox’s Bazar namely Modern Hatchery Limited vi. Organized seven meetings with salt farmers clusters to facilitate community engagement, self decision making, women participation, disseminate Artemia and aquaculture technologies vii. One gender sensitization program with the salt farmer’s families arranged on international Women’s Day to participate in decision making, income generating activities of the families; conducted six hands-on training programs to cook Artemia biomass as human food and three recipes developed viii. Communication and visibility materials were developed included success story, posters, wooden frame festoons, X-banners, signboards, backdrops and videos Climatic events such as early and erratic rainfall due to cyclone caused vulnerabilities to the salt farmers. A greater dependency of farmers to shrimp hatcheries for Artemia marketing has been identified. There is limited knowledge about the scope of Artemia biomass marketing and its performance to carp, tilapia, catfish and marine finfish hatcheries and nurseries. The lack of Artemia biomass processing and preservation facilities, transportation time of live biomass hinders the growth of Artemia pond culture in large volumes and adoption by a large number of salt farmers. However, the greater availability of Artemia biomass locally opens the potential scope to improve shrimp PL/fish fry quality, performance of shrimp/fish broodstock and increase productivity of marine aquaculture. Homestead aquaculture using carp, tilapia and mola (micronutrient-rich fish) polyculture in small homestead ponds and vegetable production in dikes and homestead areas spread the opportunity in women engagement, increasing food and nutrition security most importantly getting regular supply of animal protein and micronutrients to the salt farmers families. Diversification of activities in the salt farms (Artemia, aquaculture - shrimp, tilapia, and homestead production throughout the years taking into account the seasonality (dry season with high salinity, wet season with low salinity) will enhance the resilience of salt farmers to climate changes. Further it has been identified that there are scope for improvement of Artemia pond culture technologies for example; routine partial harvesting of Artemia biomass, Artemia cyst production technology, set up Artemia nursery ponds, size grading of Artemia biomass will be helpful to increase Artemia pond production, meet up specific purpose (e.g. smaller size can be used in carb hatchery), will open up more scope to sell and there will be increased market demand.
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