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Small-scale
aquaculture: diversifying
livelihoods and adding
value to family farming
Simon Funge-Smith
FAO Regional Office...
Small-scale aquaculture often
overlooked
• Production from small ponds and
extensive (rice) systems may not be
noticed
• M...
Small-scale aquaculture
contributes to livelihoods
• Source of food in the
household
• Supplementary household
income
– Ca...
Low investment, low risk?
• Not everyone can get into
aquaculture
• Start up requires access to:
– land and water, fingerl...
Small-scale aquaculture
production systems are
diverse
• Integration into existing farming
system or family livelihood
– S...
Small-scale aquaculture is highly
scalable
• Family operations start small as a low
risk experiment
• As experience builds...
Women are often innovators in
small-scale aquaculture
• If ponds or hatchery close to the
home
• Fits into existing work
–...
What makes aquaculture a
successful family livelihood
option?
• low-technology type
production systems
• Good fit with exi...
Improving management on
small family farms
• As family aquaculture system become
more intensive farmers need to pay
attent...
Small-scale aquaculture can still
be vulnerable
• Theft is a major deterrent to
families
– small operations located close
...
Small-scale aquaculture may still
need regulation
• Small-scale aquaculture typically
exists within the local environmenta...
Marketing vulnerabilities
• Small farmers targeting supermarkets and
international market chains
• Increasing stringency o...
We must recognize small-scale
aquaculture may be transient
• Parallels to livestock development
• As sector develops
– esp...
Thank you
Fish, banana, taro, vegetables, bamboo
Viet Nam
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Small scale aquaculture: diversifying livelihoods and adding value to family farming

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Simon Funge-Smith
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the PacifiC
FAO-APFIC

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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Transcript of "Small scale aquaculture: diversifying livelihoods and adding value to family farming"

  1. 1. Small-scale aquaculture: diversifying livelihoods and adding value to family farming Simon Funge-Smith FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
  2. 2. Small-scale aquaculture often overlooked • Production from small ponds and extensive (rice) systems may not be noticed • May be highly seasonal (monsoon) • Unseen contribution undervalued? – Household income – Family nutrition • Particularly important for – developing countries – supplementing diets – areas where traditional cropping systems do not generate much income Can you spot the fish? Rice-fish, fish ponds, North Vietnamese highlands
  3. 3. Small-scale aquaculture contributes to livelihoods • Source of food in the household • Supplementary household income – Can sell part of crop for ready cash – Spares other assets like livestock • Diversification of staple crop systems – e.g. rice farming – Adds alternative low risk income/food source • A bit like small livestock Small-scale seaweed locally marketed Philippines
  4. 4. Low investment, low risk? • Not everyone can get into aquaculture • Start up requires access to: – land and water, fingerlings, feed resources – family labour • Small-scale operations can be very low investment – Family operated, using on farm(feed) resources – Opportunity of family labour – Low risk of losses if fish harvest is poor – Not susceptible to diseases like small livestock Carp broodstock in family hatchery Myanmar
  5. 5. Small-scale aquaculture production systems are diverse • Integration into existing farming system or family livelihood – Stocking of water storage ponds – Integration with rice – Integration with small livestock • Dedicated small-scale low risk systems – Small fish cages in waters bodies – Seaweed lines – Stake culture of oysters and mussels – Small fish ponds • Systems can be highly adaptive – fitted to families resources and assets – Also time available to contribute to the activity Mixed harvest of stocked and wild fish
  6. 6. Small-scale aquaculture is highly scalable • Family operations start small as a low risk experiment • As experience builds and ponds demonstrate consistent potential • Farmers may invest and upscale – Invariably requires higher financial investment(in feed and other inputs) – Productivity can increase significantly – Intensification requires professionalization and closer controls on management • In other cases, the risk level is set and a family will not intensify to avoid financial exposure Small oyster farms for restaurant trade Thailand
  7. 7. Women are often innovators in small-scale aquaculture • If ponds or hatchery close to the home • Fits into existing work – not heavy labour – Some exceptions (e.g. seaweed) • Market fish directly or via other women – Additional income stream • But limited up-scaling – unless hiring labour • Benefit from organization Kelp China Euchema Philippines
  8. 8. What makes aquaculture a successful family livelihood option? • low-technology type production systems • Good fit with existing farming system/livelihood activities • Gradual introduction (step by step approach) • Simple, robust/resilient systems • Ready access to (local) markets is a pre-requisite • Simple market requirements – i.e. product quality/freshness/characteristics Small fish ponds integrated into vegetable and fruit gardens Viet Nam
  9. 9. Improving management on small family farms • As family aquaculture system become more intensive farmers need to pay attention – to feeding and water quality – marketing of their crop • The stakes are higher and risk increases • Organization of farmers into groups strengthens their ability to – Access advice (use of Better Aquaculture Practices) – Group purchasing of quality feeds and fingerlings – Sharing of management knowledge and advice – Group marketing or bargaining on sale of products Feeding small scale fish cages Thailand
  10. 10. Small-scale aquaculture can still be vulnerable • Theft is a major deterrent to families – small operations located close to home – or have to be guarded by a family member • Flooding and drought (climate variability) • Market instability • Disease risks exist, especially as farms intensify Living on the fish cage Lao PDR Fish kills after heavy rain
  11. 11. Small-scale aquaculture may still need regulation • Small-scale aquaculture typically exists within the local environmental carrying capacity • Relatively few dispersed operations • As more farmers start to become interested, can lead to overcrowding – this can overload an area – disease – water/effluent conflicts – market instability Massive over- crowding of small shrimp coastal shrimp ponds Thailand
  12. 12. Marketing vulnerabilities • Small farmers targeting supermarkets and international market chains • Increasing stringency on requirements for food safety, product quality, traceability…. – shifting goalposts, small famers cannot adapt in time • Farmers may use banned or unlicensed products – Banned antibiotics/chemicals (chloramphenicol, nitrofuran, malachite green) • Trade barriers – Labelling, anti-dumping, technical barriers – Price fluctuations Family harvesting small pond Lao PDR
  13. 13. We must recognize small-scale aquaculture may be transient • Parallels to livestock development • As sector develops – especially for a specific commodity – Some farmer specialize • Market requirements means smaller famers unable to meet standards • Still a role for on farm food production – But may become uncompetitive • Emergence of fully commercial aquaculture farms Small backyard hatchery Lao PDR
  14. 14. Thank you Fish, banana, taro, vegetables, bamboo Viet Nam
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