Today, fish is recognized as a global superfood, providing nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to cognitive and physical development, especially in children, and is an important part of a healthy diet. Globally, 3 billion people rely on fish for almost 20% of their animal protein. And demand for fish is increasing. Projections suggest that we will have a 68–78 million metric ton shortfall of fish by 2030. This will be especially acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where aquaculture has yet to fully develop and where fish consumption is projected to decline.
This study is the third output of the SDC-funded “Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egyptian Aquaculture” (IEIDEAS), a three-year project being jointly implemented by the WorldFish Center and CARE International in Egypt with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. The aim of the study is to gather data on the retailer segment of the aquaculture value chain in Egypt, namely on the employment and market conditions of the women fish retailers in the five target governorates.
Increasing agreement on the relevance of gender and social equalities to agricultural development outcomes has not come with the same consensus within the development community regarding ways to intervene in the sector to foster equality. The guiding principles of agriculture research for development (AR4D) and its focus on capacity development can contribute to this debate and to advancing gender integration in the sector if the "social threads" within its principles are developed more thoroughly.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) takes an innovative approach to improving the lives of poor and vulnerable rural households. It aims to directly benefit some 6 million people (in Asia’s mega deltas, the island systems of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and Africa’s inland waters), and through scaling with partners to reach 15 million more. By sharing its learning, the program aims to extend the benefits of its approaches to many more people living in other complex systems.
To inform the development of alternative livelihoods, the women's traditional alok fishery in the Campo-Ma'an National Park and buffer zone of southern Cameroon were studied over 15 months. Participatory rural appraisal was used to characterise livelihood strategies among 45 households. Thirty-three cultured crops, nine farmed animal species and 65 non-timber forest products, including 31 bushmeat species are cultivated in, or harvested from, the forest. Transport is a major impediment to commercial trade of all local products.
Chris Béné's article "Women and Fish-for-Sex" (FFS) is being highlighted in this issue of id21. The researchers use the example of a small-scale fishing community in the Kafue flats region of Zambia, and review other cases in the world. They demonstrate how economic impoverishment, which is often put forward to explain FFS transactions, is too simplistic to capture the complexity of the FFS phenomenon.
Malnutrition levels in Bangladesh are amongst the highest in the world. Approximately half of Bangladesh’s population lives below the food poverty line and the dietary intake of both adults and children are severely deficient in key vitamins and minerals. It is now understood that women and children are the more food-insecure and micronutrient-deficient in the population.
Women in India are involved in various facets of shrimp (Penaeus monodon; Penaeus indicus) farming, including pond construction, seed collection, collection of feed materials and preparation of feeds, pond maintenance and post-harvest handling. This study indicates that 40% of laborers involved in shrimp farm construction are women. The various roles of women in shrimp farming are also described.
In Bangladesh, only 6% of the daily food intake is animal food of which fish accounts for 50%. Rice is the mainstay, making up 60% of the daily food intake. However, many nutrients such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, zinc and iodine are not found in rice and have to be obtained from other sources. Small indigenous fish are a vital contribution to the diet of the rural poor in Bangladesh, where more than 30,000 children go blind every year from vitamin A deficiency and 70% of women and children are iron-deficient.
The wide distribution and ongoing improvement of GIFT tilapia in Sri Lanka is raising the living standards of poor people and contributing to gender equality through employment for women in rural areas. So far, the GIFT fish have undergone four generations of selection for increased harvest weight in Sri Lanka. Now preferred in varied culture systems across the country, GIFT fish grow faster and have higher survival than local tilapia stocks.