Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are diverse production and livelihood systems where families cultivate a range of crops, raise livestock, farm or catch fish, gather fruits and other tree crops, and harness natural resources such as timber, reeds, and wildlife. Aquatic agricultural systems occur along freshwater floodplains, coastal deltas, and inshore marine waters, and are characterized by dependence on seasonal changes in productivity, driven by seasonal variation in rainfall, river flow, and/or coastal and marine processes.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is pursuing a Research in Development approach that emphasizes the importance of embedding research in the development context. Reflecting this emphasis the six elements of this approach are a commitment to people and place, participatory action research, gender transformative research, learning and networking, partnerships, and capacity building. It is through the careful pursuit of these six elements that we believe that the program will achieve the development outcomes we aspire to, and do so at scale.
MYFC, a Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) funded project, aims to promote sustainable growth of aquaculture in Myanmar. By introducing low cost poly-culture combining small indigenous species of fish with mostly carps, the project intends to increase income, food and nutrition security for resource-poor households in the Ayeyarwady Delta and the central dry zone (CDZ). With a particular focus on women and children, and running over three years (2016-2018), MYFC will target four townships in each area.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) seeks to reduce poverty and improve food security for many small-scale fishers and farmers who are dependent on aquatic agriculture systems by partnering with local, national and international partners to achieve large-scale development impact. This study on promising practices in food security and nutrition assistance to vulnerable households in the Tonle Sap region forms part of the preliminary research that informs AAS work in the highly productive Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake floodplain.
Small indigenous fish species (SIS) are an important source of essential macro- and micronutrients that can play an important role in the elimination of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the populations of many South and Southeast Asian countries. Of the 260 freshwater fish species in Bangladesh, more than 140 are classified as SIS and are an integral part of the rural Bangladeshi diet. As many SIS are eaten whole, with organs and bones, they contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and iron and zinc. Some SIS, such as mola, are also rich in vitamin A.
The fisheries sector in Cambodia contributes 8%–12% to national GDP and 25% - 30% to agricultural GDP, with an estimated 4.5 million people involved in fishing and associated trades. Fish and other aquatic animals are important food sources, contributing an estimated national average of 60% - 70% of total animal protein intake. Of the 2013 total fish production, 550,000 metric tons were harvested from freshwater habitats, of which rice field fisheries and small-scale family fisheries contributed approximately 20%.
Throughout Bangladesh, there are more than 4.2 million household ponds. Regardless of their size and seasonality, whether they are isolated or connected to rice fields, each of these ponds has the potential to enhance its production with the addition of carps and mola. Mola is a micronutrient-rich small fish that is very popular, and grows well along with carps in ponds and rice fields. Carps are one of the most commonly farmed fish by small-scale farmers in Bangladesh. Carps grow to a large size and are profitable when sold at the market.
This study was funded through the USAID-supported Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP). This study provides an insight into the changing demand for fish in the Solomon Islands over the next 20 years. It supports US CTI Indicator 3 — “Number of policies, laws, agreements, or regulations promoting sustainable natural resource management and conservation that are implemented as a result of USG assistance”.
It is widely recognised that anchored, nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) are one of the few practical ‘vehicles’ for increasing access to tuna to help feed the rapidly growing rural and urban populations in many Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). However, considerable planning, monitoring and research is still needed to understand and fulfil the potential of nearshore FADs.
This short note has outlined the critical role of natural resource governance to Cambodia’s prospects for sustained economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security. It has also introduced a range of challenges to improving natural resource governance, at the level of strategic goals as well as institutional capacities and processes. It is intended as a launchpad for discussion, not to provide specific answers but to focus attention on key questions that can form the basis of a collaborative agenda for policy dialogue and research.