Farmed fish harvesting. (Photo: www.afspan.eu/FAO)
Global alliance relies on aquaculture to struggle against hunger
Monday, October 01, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
A new global alliance comprising 20 development agencies, governments and universities aims to promote aquaculture to struggle against hunger.
The initiative will help low-income countries having food-deficit in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop sustainable policies to improve the livelihoods of millions of poor people.
The project, 'Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition' (AFSPAN), is funded with EUR 1 million by the European Union (EU) and is managed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the global alliance, and will last three years.
|Farmed shrimp. (Photo: FAO/Adek Berry)
The initiative was joined by 11 low-income countries with food deficits, three EU partners and three international organizations.
AFSPAN aims to develop new ways to quantify aquaculture contribution with better tools and more systematic and quantitative assessments. In addition, the project will develop strategies to improve the impact of aquaculture in food and nutrition security and in poverty alleviation.
"The project will work closely with farmers’ communities and will focus on field research in many leading aquaculture countries in the developing world," stated Rohana Subasinghe, FAO expert in aquaculture and coordinator of the initiative.
| Dr. Rohana Subasinghe (Photo: upei.ca)
"It will develop tools and methodologies to help key partners to develop policies to improve the contribution of aquaculture to food and nutrition security," added the specialist.
According to FAO, fish is the main source of protein for 17 per cent of the world's population and about 25 per cent in low-income countries and in those with food deficit.
Nearly half the fish consumed daily comes from aquaculture.
Considering projections of population growth and the increasing demand for fish products with stable production, "aquaculture must expand to meet the future demand for fish," adds FAO.
The new alliance represents the regions of the world where aquaculture plays an important role and supports the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers, and includes major institutions with extensive experience in research, development and release projects.
The aim of this project is to help low-income countries with food deficits to improve efficiency and coordination of development programmes that support sustainable aquaculture as a means of promoting food security and poverty alleviation.
By Analia Murias