Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems: Program summary: Solomon Islands

The Program will achieve impact at multiple scales (household, community, province and national as well as amongst program countries) through pathways that include partnerships, knowledge sharing and learning. In Solomon Islands significant benefits will be achieved through direct engagement with partners, including communities in specific research sites in selected program hubs. Of a total population of just over half a million people, 75% of Solomon Islanders are subsistence-oriented small holder farmers and fishers.

Report on progress 1

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (CRP AAS) began operations in July 2011 with an initial focus on establishing the key governance, management and science leadership capacities required for successful delivery. As this has progressed we have also started implementing a first suite of focal country activities, along with work to produce key science outputs to support country roll-out. This first report on progress summarizes the main highlights of our work so far.

Program Partnerships

Effective partnership is central to the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agriculture Systems (AAS). We recognize that many organizations are working to improve the lives of people living in aquatic agricultural systems, and together they spend hundreds of millions of dollars there each year.

Profitability and adoption of improved shrimp farming technologies in the aquatic agricultural systems of southwestern Bangladesh

This paper assesses factors influencing adoption of new shrimp aquaculture technologies within aquatic-agricultural farming systems in southwestern Bangladesh. The impacts of three new technologies were assessed: two Modified Traditional Technologies (MTT 1 and MTT 2) and a Closed System Technology (CST). A total of 789 farmers from 10 sub-districts in Khulna Division were surveyed randomly, including a control group of 350 farmers using traditional technologies.

Pond polyculture technologies combat micronutrient deficiencies and increase household income in Bangladesh

Two sustainable, low-cost pond polyculture technologies have been developed to culture carps and mola in ponds, and culture carps and mola in ponds connected to rice fields. These technologies can increase total fish production from ponds. Farmers depend on carps as an income source, and mola is rich in micronutrients that can help to meet the nutritional requirements of the rural poor, particularly women and young children.

Polyculture of carps and mola in ponds and ponds connected to rice fields

Throughout Bangladesh, there are more than 4.2 million household ponds. Regardless of their size and seasonality, whether they are isolated or connected to rice fields, each of these ponds has the potential to enhance its production with the addition of carps and mola. Mola is a micronutrient-rich small fish that is very popular, and grows well along with carps in ponds and rice fields. Carps are one of the most commonly farmed fish by small-scale farmers in Bangladesh. Carps grow to a large size and are profitable when sold at the market.

Nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) for food security in Solomon Islands

Coastal fisheries are central to the lives of rural Solomon Island villages, supplying daily food and serving as one of the few sources of income. Yet, it is predicted that coastal fisheries in Solomon Islands, like many countries in the Pacific region, will not be able to provide enough fish to meet peoples’ needs by 2030. Proposed strategies to prevent this scenario include improving the management of coastal fisheries and diversifying sources of fish by enhancing access to other fishes, either through aquaculture or the use of fish aggregating devices (FAD).

Making a Difference

Early program achievements: In 2012 improved technologies enhanced productivity of Bangladesh fish ponds and generated: 2) $92m increase in combined annual income 3) $300 per household income from homestead ponds 3) $6000 more income per hectare from commercial fish ponds 4) $2000 more income per hectare from commercial shrimp ponds

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