improves the lives of
farmers in Myanmar
WorldFish through the CGIAR Research Program FISH is supporting small-scale fish farmers, enabling the fast-growing aquaculture sector to create jobs and boost the health and incomes of the poor.
In Myanmar, the fast-growing aquaculture sector has huge potential to improve the lives of rural households, which make up 70 percent of the population and depend largely on low-yielding agriculture for their livelihoods (FAO 2015).
Research by the Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) shows that job creation potential in aquaculture is about twice as strong per acre as for paddy farming. It can also generate higher incomes than almost any other form of agriculture. And as incomes rise in Myanmar, consumption of fish—a nutritious source of micronutrients and protein—will rise, particularly consumption of farmed fish.
However, thus far many of the 200,000 or so small-scale fish farmers in Myanmar, have missed out on these benefits. Many have limited technical knowledge of aquaculture and poor access to quality seed, which results in low yields. In addition, government regulations prevent the conversion of paddy land to aquaculture and insecure land tenure dissuades households from renting privately-owned land to build more fish ponds.
Working to develop small-scale aquaculture, and realize the sector’s potential to create jobs and boost the health and incomes of the poor, is the focus of the LIFT - funded Promoting the sustainable growth of aquaculture in Myanmar (MYFC) project (2015–2018) led by WorldFish. By 2018, the project aims to directly engage 5000 households from 77 villages in fish production, which will indirectly benefit another 5000 households through exposure to knowledge sharing and learning.
Enhancing farmer knowledge
Implemented in collaboration with four government and NGO partners, the project focuses on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta and the Central Dry Zone, where the majority of subsistence fish farms are located. Many of these sites are underutilised and derelict.
To boost the level of technical knowledge among small-scale farmers, the project provides training in good aquaculture practices, with topics also including nursery management, nutrition, gender, dike cropping and business skills. As part of the training, each beneficiary receives fish seed, feed and fertilizers.
For 36-year-old farmer Hnin Nu Moe, who was previously unable to earn money from farming fish in her family’s 975 m2 pond, the training had a huge impact.
After stocking her pond with rohu and grass carp seed provided by the project, Hnin applied the techniques she had learned in training. This included regular feeding, exchanging water, applying fertilizer and testing the water quality.
Improving access to quality fish seed
Good fish seed is needed to achieve a good fish harvest. Yet small-scale farmers often use poor quality seed from the wild or buy seed from government or private hatcheries, which often offer low productivity due to poor management of the genetic resource.
To improve seed access, WorldFish started promoting improved management practices at fish hatcheries run by the Department of Fisheries in Myanmar in 2017. The aim is to produce quality rohu carp seed, which accounts for 70 percent of all farmed fish production in Myanmar, as well as seed for silver barb.
ProjectPromoting the sustainable growth of aquaculture in Myanmar
Donor:Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT)
Partners:Network Activities Group, Department of Fisheries, Myanmar, PACT Myanmar - NGO, Groupe de Recherches et d’Echanges Technologiques (GRET)
Related sustainable development goals
TagsMyanmar, Asia, small-scale aquaculture, livelihoods, research, tilapia, genetics, tilapia, tilapia, breeding, GIFT, carp
households directly engaged in fish production by 2018
households indirectly benefitting from the MYFC project by 2018
farmers trained in good aquaculture practices since 2016
Photo credits - WorldFish. Published on 28 September 2017.