Aquatic agricultural systems are places where fishing and farming in freshwater and/or coastal systems contribute significantly to household nutrition, food security and income. In Solomon Islands, where aquatic agricultural systems form the foundation of the rural economy, 80% of the population are rural, subsistence-oriented, smallholder farmers and fishers. Communities dependent on these aquatic agricultural systems face major challenges from rising population and declining quality and availability of marine and land resources.
Hilsa was once abundantly available in the 100 rivers of Bangladesh. Fishermen used to catch plenty of hilsa which were sold fresh to the local and urban markets. It was a cheap fish and was affordable even to the poor. However, its population has declined significantly over the last 30 years. Such a decline in catches prompted the government of Bangladesh to declare four sites in the country's coastal rivers as hilsa sanctuaries restricting fishing during the breeding season.
The Managing Aquatic Agricultural Systems to Improve Nutrition and Livelihoods in Rural Myanmar (MYNutrition) project intends to adapt and scale up the successful innovative integrated aquaculture and fisheries/agriculture-nutrition linkages developed under the IFAD-funded Small Fish and Nutrition project in northeast and northwest rural Bangladesh in 2010-2013.
The strain by nutrition interaction in body weight and survival rate was examined by testing three genetic groups (Selection and Control lines of the GIFT strain, and Red tilapia) at two levels of protein in the diet (28% and 34%). The GIFT strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) has been selected for high-breeding values for body weight, whereas the Control was contemporaneously maintained and selected for breeding values of body weight close to the population mean. The Red tilapia (Oreochromis spp) was unselected at the time of the experiment.
The ‘Food and Nutrition Security Vulnerability to Mainstream Hydropower Dam Development in Cambodia’ project examined national food and nutrition vulnerability arising from the potential construction of the Stung Treng (ST) and Sambor (SB) dams. This project consisted of three components: i) an assessment of the food consumption in rural households nationwide, ii) an assessment of the impacts of Cambodian mainstream dams on fish yield, and iii) an assessment of the impacts of Cambodian mainstream dams on fish consumption and food security in Cambodia.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Feed the Future Sierra Leone Agriculture Project supports the development of rice and fish farming systems to increase productivity and improve food and nutrition security and incomes. This factsheet outlines the key components. The project focuses on Tonkolili District, which has the highest prevalence of stunting and underweight among children under 5 in the country.
This article explains the concept of a “nutrition-sensitive approach“ to aquaculture and fisheries and provides insights into the ways in which this approach, if widely applied, could create large impacts on the nutritional status and health of populations, within both resource-poor and better-off populations.
Today, fish is recognized as a global superfood, providing nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to cognitive and physical development, especially in children, and is an important part of a healthy diet. Globally, 3 billion people rely on fish for almost 20% of their animal protein. And demand for fish is increasing. Projections suggest that we will have a 68–78 million metric ton shortfall of fish by 2030. This will be especially acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where aquaculture has yet to fully develop and where fish consumption is projected to decline.
Malnutrition levels in Bangladesh are amongst the highest in the world. Approximately half of Bangladesh’s population lives below the food poverty line and the dietary intake of both adults and children are severely deficient in key vitamins and minerals. It is now understood that women and children are the more food-insecure and micronutrient-deficient in the population.
This presentatioin is about the Asia-Pacific food security and nutrition challenge with focus on the area of ICLARM's work, namely, fisheries and aquaculture. The author also illustrates the different roles that science plays in tackling the challenges.