The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) recently published two policy briefs looking at barriers to the development of livestock and fish sectors in the country. They were carried out under the Policy Research and Strategy Support Program (PRSSP) being implemented by BIDS with support from IFPRI and USAID.
The Livestock and Fish program is also working on value chain transformation in Bangladesh.
On livestock, the authors argue that ‘expanding the productivity of livestock animals and birds needs to concentrate more on the following elements:increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers; expanding commercial production; providing extension treatment and other necessary services to the poor farmers; and ensuring better marketing facilities, especially for smallholders and poor farmers.’ Actions identified include:
- Ensuring sustainable management of animal genetic resources;
- Improving diagnostic capacity and veterinary clinical and extension services, and ensuring easy access to these services;
- Ensuring feed and fodder at affordable prices to smallholders and poor farmers;
- Providing training to the farmers regarding improved animal farming;
- Managing the processing and value chain of livestock products efficiently and ensuring better market linkages, especially for smallholders and poor farmers;
- Providing long-term credit at affordable rates to smallholders and poor farmers;
- Investing in research and development in the sector and improving the institutional capacities of agencies related to the sector.
On fisheries, the authors explain that ‘aquaculture is now recognized as one of the fastest growing animal food producing sectors in Bangladesh. The country is regarded as one of the most suitable countries in the world for freshwater aquaculture because of its favourable resources and agro-climatic conditions. There are about 371,309 hectares of freshwater ponds in Bangladesh and 3 million farmers are involved in fish farming. Aquaculture plays an important role in the economy of Bangladesh, providing food, nutrition, incomes, livelihoods and export earnings.’
The authors further identify major policy implications, including:
- Wherever appropriate, community based fisheries management should be pursued;
- The open access policies in open waters should be abolished and, wherever feasible, they should be brought under community management;
- A cautious approach needs to be taken in promoting flood plain aquaculture (FPA);
- Public water bodies suitable for aquaculture should be leased out on the basis of efficiency and growth rather than equity/poverty reduction alone;
- More resources need to be invested in the development of capture fisheries;
- The basic technical knowledge of efficient and integrated fish farming should be provided to farmers;
- A range of public-private partnerships, higher investments, and more effective initiatives are needed to realize the potential of further development of aquaculture;
- Further research is needed to better understand the environmental impacts on aquaculture and their implications.
Download the policy briefs: