Integration of aquaculture into smallholder farming systems for improved food security and household nutrition.

Aquaculture production techniques based on the culture of low-value herbivorous and/or omnivorous freshwater finfish in inland rural communities, within semi-intensive or extensive farming systems that use moderate to low levels of production inputs, have supplied large quantities of affordable fish for domestic markets and home consumption. Only recently have studies been initiated to assess the contribution of these integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) systems to improved nutrition and food security, both within IAA farm households and in non-IAA households in the community. The effect can be direct, through within-household consumption and dietary improvement, but also indirect, through sale of fish produce and purchase of other food items (often at lower unit value than the sold fish). In the absence of in-depth studies, this contribution presents key elements from recent experiences in Africa and Asia that indicate where benefits from the integration of aquaculture into farming systems for human nutrition and food security can be achieved, and it recommends future avenues for research to provide much-needed information on the contribution of aquaculture to household nutrition and food security.


Prein, M., Ahmed, M. (2000)
Food Nutrition Bulletin 21(4):466-471 [open access]