Abstract
“AQUACULTURE FOR FOOD SECURITY AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION OF RURAL COMMUNITIES” A CASE STUDY

N. R. Chattopadhyay* and T. K. Mahapatra

ABSTRACT

The existing and potential contributions of aquaculture to food security have been well recognized. Tidwell and Allan (2001) provided some statistics as to the contribution of fish products to food supply and accordingly around one billion people worldwide rely on fish as their primary source of animal protein. Fish supplies 17 percent of animal protein in Africa; over 36 million people are employed directly through fishing and aquaculture; consumption of food fish has increased from 40 million tonnes in 1970 to 86 million tonnes in 1998 (FAO, 1999); and fish consumption is expected to reach 110 million tonnes by 2010 (FAO, 2001). As pointed out by Tacon (2001), aquaculture is “an important domestic provider of much needed high-quality animal protein and other essential nutrition (generally at affordable prices to the poorer segments of the community)”. Ahmed and Lorica (2002) found “clear evidence of positive income and consumption effects of aquaculture on households” in Asia’s experience. From the perspective of fish farmers, Edwards (1999a, 1999b, 2000) summarized aquaculture’s contribution to the livelihoods of the rural poor into “direct” and “indirect” benefits, with the former including the provision of high-quality food, (self) employment, and incomes; and the latter including food supply to local markets, employment opportunities for local communities, efficient resource utilization, and enhancement of farm sustainability through infrastructure construction and (farming) technology innovations. Brummett and Williams (2000) pointed out that high population growth, low elasticity of demand for fish and static fishery production make aquaculture an important supply source for fish products.

Keywords: important domestic provider, food security, livelihoods, “direct” and “indirect” benefits, efficient resource utilization, self-employment.


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