Writing in New Agriculturist, Wayne Rogers, Malcolm Beveridge and Michael Phillips argue that “investments in smallholder [aquaculture] farmers and their organisations can be commercially viable, creating economic as well as social and environmental benefits.
The growth of aquaculture – now the fastest growing food production system in the world – is increasingly attracting private investment. Much of this investment, however, is in larger enterprises and input services such as feed, seed and processing. Little is targeted at smallholder farmers who, as a result, continue to face constraints in accessing finance, technology and markets. In 2010, WorldFish set out to explore the business case for investment in smallholder aquaculture by examining several donor funded projects.
Writing in the same issue, Stephen Hall, director general of WorldFish argues that fisheries policy development needs be ‘opened up. We need “to think about fisheries in the broader context of rural development, involving stakeholders right down to community level. And to achieve that, the challenge will be to get small scale fisheries – which are the dominant kind of fishery, globally – recognised as an important part of national economies.”