EU to Promote Aquaculture to Fight Hunger in Food-Deficit Countries

Written by | Monday, October 21st, 2013

An international initiative to foster awareness on the role of aquaculture in food security in poor countries has been launched, bringing together a global alliance of governments, development agencies and universities to help low-income food-deficit countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The main aim of the ’Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition’ project (AFSPAN) is to develop sustainable policies to improve the livelihoods of millions of poor people around the world. In order to support this project, the European Union has offered one million Euros for the three years project. Experts and scholars have long pointed to the fact that little is known about aquaculture and its importance on food, nutrition security and its improvement on poverty in developing countries even though it is known in fighting hunger.
Due to the population growth in parts of Africa and other developing regions, there is an increasing demand for fish products with stable production of capture fisheries and aquaculture will need to expand to meet the future demand for fish. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in the development of the heart and brain in healthy people. Almost 50 % of the fish that we eat comes from aquaculture. Fish is the primary source of protein for 17 % of the world’s population, whereby almost 25 % of people in low-income food-deficit countries consume it regularly.
The new partnership, which represents the world’s regions where aquaculture plays a major role and supports the livelihoods of millions of small-scale fish farmers, will also include key institutions with a strong expertise in research, development project implementation and dissemination. The project aspires to develop new ways to measure the contribution of aquaculture with better tools and more systematic and quantitative assessments.

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