The Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition (AFSPAN) Project was a three-year initiative to improve our understanding of the role of aquaculture in food security, poverty alleviation and human nutrition. The project is developing new methodologies to quantify the impact of aquaculture in developing nations and low income food deficit countries.
To provide food to a world population expected to surpass 9 billion in 2050, it has been estimated that agricultural output, originating primarily from crops, livestock and fisheries, including aquaculture must increase by 70%. Meeting this target is a formidable challenge for the international community considering that around one billion people presently suffer from hunger and poverty.
Aquaculture is widely considered an important component for enhancing food security, income and nutrition. However, little information is available concerning the direct and indirect impacts of aquaculture on food security and poverty alleviation in most developing countries.
Strengthening the knowledge base surrounding aquaculture and food and nutrition security through the AFSPAN Project provided evidence upon which sound resource allocation and strategies can be based. The knowledge developed will contribute to the efficient planning, coordination and implementation of research and development programmes supporting the sustainable expansion of aquaculture, and increasing its impact on food security, livelihoods and poverty alleviation for millions of poor people.
The AFSPAN project developed novel and innovative strategies for consideration by development partners, in particular the EU, and contributed to promoting enhanced coordination and synergies between member states and EU initiatives related to international cooperation aiming at developing aquaculture as means of combating food insecurity.
AFSPAN partners conducted field-based research and activities to gather grass-root information and data, as well as to verify national information collected through the review process. The project conducted a review of literature and information, developed and verified assessment methodologies, national reviews, assessments, case studies, and prepared a final synthesis of the project's research findings.
The project concluded in December 2014. The findings of the project are summarised in the Final Technical Report.
- AFSPAN Final Technical Report now available! (19/3/2015).
- Is aquaculture pro-poor? Some answers from Bangladesh (14/8/2014).
- Nicaragua plans for sustainable development of small-scale aquaculture (4/3/2014).
- Shrimp cooperatives from Nicaragua upgrade production with assistance from Serviconsa and USAID (4/3/2014).
- AFSPAN activities in the Philippines (10/1/2014).
- India and AFSPAN (12/12/2013).
- Report on AFSPAN Chilean survey (22/10/2013).
- Field surveys underway! (7/5/2013).
- Literature review on the potential contribution of fish-related activities to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation (12/2/2013).
- Aquaculture sustainability: Towards 2030 (6/12/2012).
- Preliminary report of desk study on regional/international cooperation activities (4/12/2012).
- Report of the AFSPAN Inception Workshop available for download (14/11/2012).
- AFSPAN gets underway (16/9/2012).
WP1. Project coordination
- Inception Workshop Report: Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition (AFSPAN), Penang, Malaysia, 10-12 September 2012.
- Second workshop report: Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition.
- Final workshop report: Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition.
WP2. Assessment methodologies, indicators and framework
- Literature review on the potential contribution of fish-related activities to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation.
- Analytical framework: Survey and assessment methodology.
WP3. Review and assessment of national and international cooperation
- Review and assessment of national and international cooperation: Final synthesis report including recommendations submitted and circulated by various stakeholders.
WP4. Sustainable aquaculture systems and institutions
- Methodological guidelines prepared for case studies.
- Synthesis report including best practice recommendations.
- Information / best practice / policy briefs presenting major findings.
WP5. Social and cultural factors affecting aquaculture
- Synthesis report - Identification of enabling and disenabling social and cultural factors affecting aquaculture development.
WP6. Nutrition education in aquaculture
- A report on the reviewed nutrition education programmes.
- Case study reports prepared for dissemination.
- Briefs on "Essential aquaculture actions" and "Essential nutrition actions" for dissemination.
WP7. Trade and markets
- Fair Enough? Food Security and the International Seafood Trade.
- Final report on aquaculture production and trade.
WP8. Synthesis, policy guidance and coordinating arrangements
AFSPAN was funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme.
The twenty project partners included key institutions with strong technical competence in the areas of research, development project implementation and dissemination needed for the success of the project, and represent countries where aquaculture has made a major contribution to national economies, involves large numbers of small-scale farms and that have significant international trade of fisheries products. The project was coordinated by Dr Rohana Subasinghe, FAO (retired).
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