Farming-based rural livelihoods are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of global climate change and sudden and profound changes in social and economic systems. Diversification of livelihood options is believed to be vital to maintaining ecosystem resilience and building social systems resilience. Integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) farming systems, considered among the promising options for small-scale farming households in China and Vietnam, are likely be relevant in the context of mixed crop- livestock farming systems elsewhere as well.
Improving the productivity of fisheries and aquaculture is vital to reducing hunger and poverty for millions of people in the developing world. Today, fish provides more than one billion poor people with most of their daily animal-source protein and, globally, more than 250 million people depend directly on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods; millions more are employed in fisheries and aquaculture value chains.
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.
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.
In Cambodia, women make up more than 65% of the adult population. They play a most important role in all spheres of social and economic activities. A recent investigation has shown that in small scale aquaculture, women have been found to contribute more than men in almost all activities. Details about this are discussed in this article.
Fishing for prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) postlarvae is a major contributor to the livelihoods of the coastal poor in Bangladesh, including women. A study of coastal livelihoods along the lower Pasur River in southwest Bangladesh indicates that on average 40% of total annual income comes from postlarvae fishing during the few months involved. However, indiscriminate fishing of wild postlarvae, with high levels of by-catch, has an impact on biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. This has provoked imposition of restrictions on postlarvae collection.
Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture have been recognized as important opportunities to enhance household food security in developing countries. While interventions aiming at promoting these activities reveal many positive effects, their direct and indirect impacts on nutritional status have not yet been fully documented. The objective of this paper is to identify more specifically the potential pathways that exist between fish-related livelihoods (small-scale fisheries, fish farming) and household nutritional security.
Most research on gender difference or inequities in capture fisheries and aquaculture in Africa and the Asia-Pacific focuses on the gender division of labour. Emerging research on globalization, market changes, poverty and trends in gendered employment within this sector reveals the need to move beyond this narrow perspective. If gleaning and post-harvesting activities were enumerated, the fisheries and aquaculture sector might well turn out to be female sphere.
Women’s involvement in fisheries is more significant than often assumed. According to current estimates from nine major fish producing countries, they comprise 46% of the labor force in smallscale capture fisheries-related activities, including pre- and post-harvesting work. Their current engagement is shaped by rapidly dwindling fisheries stocks on one hand, and the increased global demand for fish on the other. At the WorldFish Center, research on gender and fisheries currently focuses on: 1. Markets, trade and migration 2. Capabilities and well-being 3. Identities and networks 4.
The WorldFish Center, in partnership with FAO, is implementing the regional programme "Fisheries and HIV/AIDS in Africa: investing in sustainable solutions". This programme aims at strengthening the capacity in the region to develop sustainable solutions to enhance the contributions of fish and fisheries to economic and human development. In particular, the programme is building a strategic response to HIV/AIDS in the fisheries sector that will generate benefits for vulnerable groups in wider society.