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A food systems approach to
aquaculture: re-orienting farming
systems for improved nutritional
outcomes
Dr. Patrick Dugan
W...
Why is the health community becoming
interested in Agriculture?
• 165 million children suffer from stunted growth globally...
Increasing income alone has only mild to moderate
associations with child nutritional status
Ruel, 2013
Pathways from Ag to Nutrition
https://www.spring-
nutrition.org/sites/default/files/publications/briefs/spring_understandi...
Dietary diversity, socioeconomic status,
and risk of micronutrient deficiencies
Source: Semba Journal of Nutrition,
2012; ...
Dietary diversity in many settings is limited
Percent of children 6-24 months with minimum dietary diversity*
fed >4 food ...
Dietary diversity is associated with better
child growth
Source: Arimond and Ruel, Journal of
Nutrition, 2004; 134:2579-85...
And is important for the prevention of
deaths from chronic disease
Ezzati M, Riboli E. N Engl J Med
2013;369:954-964.
Ag. Policies need to better reflect the diets
that we will result in healthy populations.
“There is a growing disconnect b...
Source:Subhatu, PNAS, 2015 Aug 25,
2015, vol 112, 34, 10657-10662
Findings from the paper
• Farm production diversity was positively associated with
dietary diversity in some situations…bu...
Aquatic agricultural settings offer unique
opportunities for diversification of systems
•Aquatic environments amenable to ...
What opportunities exist to modify aquaculture
farming design to improve nutrition?
Photo by Holly Holmes
Opportunity 1: Homestead pond
polyculture with micronutrient rich small
fish
Photo by Holly Holmes
Opportunity 2: Pond connected to rice field;
polyculture with micronutrient rich small fish
Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women
in aquaculture system
Photo by Holly Holmes
Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women
in aquaculture system
• Developed in response to need for woman-friendly abil...
Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women
in aquaculture system
Photo by Hossain, Mohammed Zakir
Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women
in aquaculture system
Photo by Hossain, Mohammed Zakir
Opportunity 4: Pond dike farming as an
integrated aquaculture-agriculture system
Photo by Holly Holmes
Opportunity 4: Pond dike farming as an
integrated aquaculture-agriculture system
• Integration of on-farm activities for i...
Conclusions
• The importance of agricultural systems for human nutrition has
been neglected for too long
• Many reviews ha...
Thank You
A food systems approach to aquaculture: Re-orienting farming systems for improved nutritional outcomes
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A food systems approach to aquaculture: Re-orienting farming systems for improved nutritional outcomes

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Presentation by WorldFish Deputy Director General Dr. Patrick Dugan.

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A food systems approach to aquaculture: Re-orienting farming systems for improved nutritional outcomes

  1. 1. A food systems approach to aquaculture: re-orienting farming systems for improved nutritional outcomes Dr. Patrick Dugan WorldFish
  2. 2. Why is the health community becoming interested in Agriculture? • 165 million children suffer from stunted growth globally, most in LMICs • A paper in the Lancet reviewed all evidence related to direct interventions to prevent child malnutrition. • 10 interventions were identified as “evidence based” and worthy of scale up. • Scaling up these interventions to 90% coverage in the top 34 countries of stunting burden only reduces stunting by 20%... • What more is needed? Bhutta, The Lancet, 2013
  3. 3. Increasing income alone has only mild to moderate associations with child nutritional status Ruel, 2013
  4. 4. Pathways from Ag to Nutrition https://www.spring- nutrition.org/sites/default/files/publications/briefs/spring_understanding
  5. 5. Dietary diversity, socioeconomic status, and risk of micronutrient deficiencies Source: Semba Journal of Nutrition, 2012; 142: 143S-156S
  6. 6. Dietary diversity in many settings is limited Percent of children 6-24 months with minimum dietary diversity* fed >4 food groups (WHO rec) Country % With minimum dietary diversity* Bangladesh 45.2 Ethiopia 7.1 Haiti 29.2 India 16.0 Kenya 28.7 Uganda 23.1 Zambia 18.9 *WHO’s Minimum dietary diversity indicator >4 food groups or more of seven food groups.
  7. 7. Dietary diversity is associated with better child growth Source: Arimond and Ruel, Journal of Nutrition, 2004; 134:2579-85 Dietary diversity tertiles by country Child height for age
  8. 8. And is important for the prevention of deaths from chronic disease Ezzati M, Riboli E. N Engl J Med 2013;369:954-964.
  9. 9. Ag. Policies need to better reflect the diets that we will result in healthy populations. “There is a growing disconnect between agricultural policy and contemporary nutritional challenges. It has been slow to respond to the persistent problem [nutritional deficiencies]. Agricultural policy is still heavily biased towards staple grain productivity improvement…while the diet diversity needs of the middle class as well as the poor are not adequately addressed.” -Prabhu Pingali Source: Pingali, Food security, 2015, 7:583-591
  10. 10. Source:Subhatu, PNAS, 2015 Aug 25, 2015, vol 112, 34, 10657-10662
  11. 11. Findings from the paper • Farm production diversity was positively associated with dietary diversity in some situations…but not all. • Smallholder access to agricultural markets and off-farm employment positively associated with household dietary diversity • Clearly the relationship is complicated and more research is needed. • Greater agriculture diversity does not necessarily mean that every individual farm should increase production diversity.
  12. 12. Aquatic agricultural settings offer unique opportunities for diversification of systems •Aquatic environments amenable to production of many diverse foods •Fish is a key food produced in such settings • Nutrient-rich, with many bioavailable nutrients not found in other parts of the diet (zinc, iron, vit. A) • Low carbon emissions associated with production than livestock. •Complex dynamics between ecosystems and agricultural production
  13. 13. What opportunities exist to modify aquaculture farming design to improve nutrition? Photo by Holly Holmes
  14. 14. Opportunity 1: Homestead pond polyculture with micronutrient rich small fish Photo by Holly Holmes
  15. 15. Opportunity 2: Pond connected to rice field; polyculture with micronutrient rich small fish
  16. 16. Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women in aquaculture system Photo by Holly Holmes
  17. 17. Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women in aquaculture system • Developed in response to need for woman-friendly ability to harvest fish- especially mola • Mola are small micronutrient rich fish and require frequent harvesting. Traditionally harvesting a male-dominated activity yet men often are away in the fields. • Underlying principle: if women harvest themselves they are more likely to consume/feed to children. • Gill net: allows women to operate from bank of water body. Different nets were tried, this worked the best • Early trials with gill net found it to be user friendly and well accepted: further research needed to determine impact on consumption. Photo by Holly Holmes
  18. 18. Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women in aquaculture system Photo by Hossain, Mohammed Zakir
  19. 19. Opportunity 3: Gill net for empowering women in aquaculture system Photo by Hossain, Mohammed Zakir
  20. 20. Opportunity 4: Pond dike farming as an integrated aquaculture-agriculture system Photo by Holly Holmes
  21. 21. Opportunity 4: Pond dike farming as an integrated aquaculture-agriculture system • Integration of on-farm activities for improved diversification of production and thus diets of rural households • WorldFish promotes • the cultivation of vitamin A rich vegetables (e.g. orange sweet potato) on pond dykes • The combination of vegetables promoting the consumption over a longer period of time • Multifunctional farming systems results in: • increased availability of non-staple foods that provide complementary nutrients to those from fish and greater dietary diversity, year-round (Islam et al. 2011). • More efficient and sustainable use of natural resources • Surplus production can be sold to increase household income.
  22. 22. Conclusions • The importance of agricultural systems for human nutrition has been neglected for too long • Many reviews have noted the need for more rigorous evidence about ‘what works’ in agriculture to reduce undernutrition: at present all we have is a handful of rigorous studies • Small modifications in farming design can have large impacts on the performance of production systems, increasing consumption and enhancing the potential benefits to nutritional outcomes • Greater investment is needed in research: • Exploring different pro-nutrition farming systems models that deliver the foods associated with good nutrition and health outcomes
  23. 23. Thank You

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