This project goes beyond the specific role of fish in improving food and nutrition security in the state of Odisha. A core vision of the post-2015 development agenda is a “healthy life for all” in a world where everyone consumes food that is “affordable and nutritious”. The proposed project assists the state of Odisha in meeting the targets it has set for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); in particular, SDGs 2, 14 and 15.
The overall goal of this project is to improve food and nutrition security in the state of Odisha, India. The objective of this project is to increase the supply of and access to affordable, safe, nutrient-rich fish and fish products for increased consumption, through innovative, nutrition sensitive fisheries technologies and integrated approaches.
In low- and middle-income countries, the benefits of fish to healthy diets are not fully understood or recognized. n the state of Odisha, with rich aquatic resources, a population which values fish as integral to the food culture and habits, and with high rates of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, low fish intakes, especially among the poor, women and young children, this ‘WorldFish signature comprehensive, integrative nutrition-sensitive approach’ in the fisheries sector has the potential to increase supply, access and consumption of safe, nutritious fish and fish products and, thereby, make a significant contribution to sustainably improving food and nutrition security in the state. More importantly, increased fish consumption has the potential to improve nutrition and health of the population of the state. In Odisha, 45% of children under five years of age suffer from chronic undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies. This number is even higher amongst tribal children, with 57% of tribal children chronically undernourished, according to a UNICEF report, as reported in the media. The situation among Odisha’s rural tribal children, aged 18-23 months is even more serious, with the prevalence of stunting (low height for age) as high as 83%9. Fish, as a highly nutritious animal-source food, supplying multiple, essential nutrients can substantially alleviate this dire situation. This approach is relevant to other states of India, with rich fisheries resources and fish as part of the food culture, for example, West Bengal as well as other countries in the region such as Terai, Nepal.
The project is composed of four main components, who also mark project goals with strategic activities that will support towards the achievement of panned target deliverables. These are as following: A. Increased availability - Increased production, productivity and diversity of nutrient-rich fish from innovative technologies of aquaculture and capture fisheries, as applied to household and community ponds, and inland freshwater reservoirs. B. Increased accessibility - Development, marketing and distribution of affordable, safe, nutritious fresh fish and fish-based products using production from aquaculture and capture fisheries, including Chilika Lake. Increased and expanded distribution to reach multiple population groups, in partnerships with the private sector and research institutes. C. Increased consumption - Social behaviour change approaches, targeting the whole family, to promote increased nutrient-rich fish and vegetable consumption, especially in women and young children; and increase knowledge and practice of essential nutrition and essential hygiene actions, in partnerships with relevant local government programs, non-government organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). D. Improved food and nutrition security and scaling - Further scaling of innovative, nutrition-sensitive fisheries technologies and integrated approaches, through expanding and strengthening regional and national partnerships and collaborations, in particular, in West Bengal and Terai, Nepal.
This project will lead to the introduction of nutrition-sensitive production technologies for nutrient rich fish in selected districts of Odisha. Coupled with targeted and well-researched social behaviour change tools and methods, increased knowledge and awareness of fish for improved nutrition, greater demand for fish by the public sector and the population of the state of Odisha will be achieved and sustained, leading to increased fish consumption by at least 5,000 women and 5,000 children.