Fish is the most important animal-source food in Bangladesh. Approximately 60 percent of the population eats fish at least every other day, with per capita daily consumption at 44 grams for the poorest households. Fish is rich in micronutrients like vitamin A, iron, and zinc. Vitamin A is essential for childhood survival, zinc reduces stunting in children and iron is essential for brain development in children. Bangladesh has high incidence of micronutrient deficiency. The USAID-funded Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project aims to improve household income and nutrition and create employment opportunities through investments in aquaculture, including fish production. The AIN project focuses on 20 districts in the Barisal, Khulna and Dhaka divisions of Bangladesh, some of the poorest and most disaster prone areas in the country. The AIN project focuses on increasing aquaculture productivity through the development and dissemination of improved fish and shrimp seed, improved household and commercial aquaculture, and policy reform and institutional capacity building.
Bangladesh has chronic levels of undernutrition which most dramatically effect pregnant women and children. The project, “Fish consumption in the first 1,000 days for increased protein intake and improved nutrition,” aims to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and infants 6-23 months of age in Bangladesh through the provision of nutritious foods products made from common, locally available ingredients. The project has two main activities: (a) production of the two fish-based food products and then provision to approximately 300 women and children for a 12 month period; and (b) development of an education and social marketing campaign to generate local awareness of and demand for nutritious fish-based food products.
In Bangladesh, pressures from population growth, acute food shortages and poverty mean that around 60% of the population suffers from undernutrition. The Expansion of Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project brings together local partners, the International Rice Research Institute, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and WorldFish to fight food insecurity through the creation of six regional hubs that promote technology innovation and improve agricultural and aquaculture productivity. The project aims to promote food and nutrition security through greater crop diversification. WorldFish focuses on the development small-scale pond aquaculture (fish farming) and gher agriculture.
“Before the project, we had fish only once a week and meat only once a month,” says Tasbina Begum, a mother of two from Jogahati village in Jessore district, southern Bangladesh.
This instructional video introduces the aquaculture industry's best practices for measuring the quality of water in a fishpond. Ensuring the water is of a high quality with adequate oxygen, food, ammonia and other vital components, is essential for ensuring healthy growth.
This video is part of the 'Best Management Practices for Egyptian Aquaculture' series. Watch more in the series to learn about fish health care, pond fertilization and more.
27 million tonnes of fish are used each year to feed animals, can we use these better?
There is something circular about the idea of catching fish to use as feed for farmed fish, livestock, poultry and our pets. And with about one third of the global fish catch going in this direction, most of it destined for aquaculture, you might well ask whether growing the farmed fish to put in your supermarket has deprived a hungry or malnourished person of food.
How do we help the malnourished by choosing which fish is most nutritious?
The idea that fish is a healthy diet choice is widespread, but fish differ in the benefits they offer, with implications for how we help the malnourished.