Institutional histories, seasonal floodplains (mares), and livelihood impacts of fish stocking in the Inner Niger River Delta of Mali

The Community-based Fish Culture in Seasonal Floodplains and Irrigation Systems (CBFC) project is a five year research project supported by the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), with the aim of increasing productivity of seasonally occurring water bodies through aquaculture. The project has been implemented in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Mali and Vietnam, where technical and institutional options for community based aquaculture have been tested. The project began in 2005 and was completed in March 2010. The seasonally flooded depressions in the Inner Niger Delta (known as mares) represent a critical fishery resource for the inhabitants of the village of Komio, and at present, access is open to all residents. A proposal to build stocked fish enclosures in the main village mare presents potential benefits and risks. On one hand, overall productivity in the mare could be significantly increased, providing important sources of protein and cash during the annual drought period, when few livelihood activities can be performed and when village livelihoods are at their most vulnerable. Enhanced productivity in mares may also decrease local household pressures for seasonal labor migration. On the other hand, a resulting increase in the value of these mares may encourage elite capture of project benefits or rentseeking by certain village leaders of the landowning Marka ethnic group. Using qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, the study provides evidence of how local institutional and leadership capacity for equitable common property resource management have evolved since the introduction of irrigated farming systems (known as Périmètres Irrigués Villageois or PIVs) in the 1990s.


Citation:

Russell, A.J.M., Coulibaly, S., Sinaba, F., Kodio, A., Joffre, O., Sheriff, N. (2010)
CBFC Working paper no. 5. WorldFish Center, Penang. 23 p.
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