Promising practices in food security and nutrition assistance to vulnerable households in the Tonle Sap Region, Cambodia

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) seeks to reduce poverty and improve food security for many small-scale fishers and farmers who are dependent on aquatic agriculture systems by partnering with local, national and international partners to achieve large-scale development impact. This study on promising practices in food security and nutrition assistance to vulnerable households in the Tonle Sap region forms part of the preliminary research that informs AAS work in the highly productive Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake floodplain.

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.

Performance of mono-sex tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in rice field with different ditch size

The effects of ditch size on growth and production of mono-sex tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus in rain fed concurrent rice–fish system were technically and economically evaluated for a period of 4 months. Three different ditch sizes were tried: 5%, 10% and 15% of the total cultivable rice field. It is concluded that rice–fish farming in a rain fed ecosystem of Bangladesh with medium ditch size and stocking density of 5000 ha-1 mono-sex tilapia can achieve better economic return.

Participatory action research: Guide for facilitators

This guide is a resource document for the training and capacity building of facilitators who conduct participatory action research (PAR) in the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS). AAS aims to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people reliant on aquatic and agricultural systems for their livelihoods, through collaborative, inclusive PAR with communities and other stakeholders.

Nourishing Bangladesh with micronutrient-rich small fish

Increasing the quantity and frequency of small fish consumption can boost nutrition, health and well-being of the people of Bangladesh. Small fish are rich in micronutrients, particularly vitamin A, iron, zinc and calcium, as well as animal protein and essential fats. Small fish are highly nutritious as they are usually consumed whole. Pregnant and lactating women and young children from the age of 6 months to two years should consume small fish as they promote healthy growth and development in children and can lead to better performance at school, and at work later in life.

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

Governance of aquatic agricultural systems: Analyzing representation, power, and accountability

Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders over rights to access and use natural resources, land, water, wetlands, and fisheries, essential to rural livelihoods. A key implication is the need to strengthen governance to enable equitable decision making amidst competition that spans sectors and scales, building capacities for resilience, and for transformations in institutions that perpetuate poverty.


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