Small-scale freshwater aquaculture in Nepal

Modern aquaculture practices in Nepal started around the 1950s (Rajbanshi, 1979). Since then, aquaculture has contributed about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country. The national average production from pond aquaculture is about 3.6 million tons/ha (DoFD, 2007) however, the range of fish production varies from about few hundred kilograms to 7.0 million tons/hectare depending upon different farming and management system.

In general, the aquatic habitats and fish species can be viewed as prospects for fisheries and aquaculture development in the country. This also implies that aquatic resources located at different altitude and climatic zones can offer potential for different fisheries and aquaculture activities in Nepal.

The major economic activities of the country heavily depended on agriculture. Since last so many years, the country has been ranked as one of the poorest in the world due to increasing population, inadequate and irrational improvement in agricultural technology and other infrastructures. Recently, among the most prioritized agricultural sector of GoN, aquaculture sector has been considered as one of the potential areas through which substantial improvements in the income of farmers are expected. Fish culture has a short history in Nepal, while capture fishery in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, wet lands and flood plain has been practiced for long. Fisheries is a small but important subsector of agriculture contributing about 2.61 % of agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP) which amount to nearly 1.0 % of the national GDP (DoFD, 2005).

Despite its auspicious character and significant dietary contribution, the per capita consumption of fish is rather low. The per capita animal protein consumption in Nepal was 1.97 kg/year in 2010/11 (DoFD, 2011) and fish contributed only about 10.0 %. Fisheries development represents a largely untapped resource in Nepal and there is ample opportunity with regard to land areas for increased production by improved technology and management. Therefore, to improve the agricultural productivity, the Fisheries Prospective Plan of Nepal (FPP/N) has envisioned the national fish production to reach 75,000 T by 2015, from the 56,000 T in year 2011/12.


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JICA / NACA / DOF International Symposium on Small-scale Freshwater Aquaculture Extension

The symposium provided a venue for information sharing on extension of small-scale aquaculture targeted to those individuals and relevant organisations involved in various aquaculture development projects. The symposium also assessed and presented the effectiveness of “farmer-to-farmer extension” approaches in the implementation of relevant aquaculture development projects in the region. The symposium was organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), NACA and the Thai Department of Fisheries.