Digital technologies are undergoing a revolution. Machine learning, remote sensing, smartphones, mobile internet, social media, and open-source software for data collection and video production open up an array of new possibilities for collecting, analyzing, and communicating information in new forms to multiple audiences. This project combines survey-based research techniques with remote sensing, machine learning, and video production to generate knowledge products disseminated via digital media to reach and serve the diverse information needs of farmers, enterprises, researchers, and government.

The project builds organizational and individual capacity in Bangladesh for conducting rigorous research on socio-economic and spatial dimensions of aquaculture and contributes to a more enabling environment for fostering sustainable aquaculture growth.

The project comprises three components:

  • surveys
  • remote sensing
  • capacity building.

Component 1 follows the stacked survey method to survey a sample of 1,100 hatcheries, feed suppliers, farmers, and fish traders interviewed in 2013. Comparative analysis of 2020 and 2013 data enables the identification of new and emerging technologies and practices. Additional in-depth interviews are used to gather detailed information on these practices and produce short videos featuring individuals demonstrating their innovative behavior in their own words to provide easily relatable content to be disseminated widely through social media platforms.

Component 2 uses machine learning to extract and analyze data on fishponds from satellite images. Combined with data collected under Component 1, this analysis facilitates the development of an interactive, online data visualization tool that can be used to estimate aquacultures multidimensional contributions to the economy and nutrition, focusing on production, economic value-added, and employment all differentiated by gender and value chain segment. The publicly available web-based tool designed based on stakeholder consultations facilitates user interaction with and visualization of the data generated.

Component 3 is dedicated to formal training and outreach that builds individual, organizational, and societal capacity and includes

  • stakeholder consultations on features potential users wish to see incorporated into the interactive GIS interface;
  • a two-week data-analytics capacity-building retreat, to build host-country researcher capacity for quantitative survey data analysis, analytical thinking, and written and oral academic presentational skills;
  • dissemination of Bangla-language extension videos via social media;
  • a five-day remote-sensing capacity-building course for GIS users;
  • workshops to promote new and emerging technologies to private sector actors and extension agents in each of the surveyed zones.