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Increasing the quantity and frequency of small fish consumption can boost nutrition, health and well-being of the people of Bangladesh. Small fish are rich in micronutrients, particularly vitamin A, iron, zinc and calcium, as well as animal protein and essential fats. Small fish are highly nutritious as they are usually consumed whole.
Two sustainable, low-cost pond polyculture technologies have been developed to culture carps and mola in ponds, and culture carps and mola in ponds connected to rice fields. These technologies can increase total fish production from ponds. Farmers depend on carps as an income source, and mola is rich in micronutrients that can help to meet the nutritional requirements of the rural poor, particularly women and young children.
Bangladesh has made considerable progress against human development indicators in recent years, but malnutrition resulting from poor dietary diversity and low micronutrient intakes remains entrenched. Fish is central to the Bangladeshi diet and small fish species are an important micronutrient source.