Fish is especially rich in essential omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients, including bioavailable calcium, iron and zinc. Fish features prominently in the diet of most, especially poor, Zambians. Despite this, its significance in the diet of women and children in the first 1,000 days is not well understood. Our current knowledge of the nutrient content of commonly consumed fish species in Zambia is synthesised.
Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are diverse production and livelihood systems where families cultivate a range of crops, raise livestock, farm or catch fish, gather fruits and other tree crops, and harness natural resources such as timber, reeds, and wildlife. Aquatic agricultural systems occur along freshwater floodplains, coastal deltas, and inshore marine waters, and are characterized by dependence on seasonal changes in productivity, driven by seasonal variation in rainfall, river flow, and/or coastal and marine processes.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is pursuing a Research in Development approach that emphasizes the importance of embedding research in the development context. Reflecting this emphasis the six elements of this approach are a commitment to people and place, participatory action research, gender transformative research, learning and networking, partnerships, and capacity building. It is through the careful pursuit of these six elements that we believe that the program will achieve the development outcomes we aspire to, and do so at scale.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) aims over the next six years, to improve the lives of 15 million poor and vulnerable people who depend upon diverse livelihood strategies in aquatic agricultural systems Taking a Research in Development (RinD) approach, this program represents a break from “business as usual” for the CGIAR. The program aims to build capacity to innovate and to foster more resilient communities and aquatic agricultural systems.
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.