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Title: Nutrition-sensitive solutions for aquaculture development in Africa
Author(s): Kaminski, Alexander M
Supervisor(s): Little, David C
Keywords: Aquaculture
Food security
Human nutrition
Value chain
Rural livelihoods
Small fish
Inclusive development
Food sovereignty
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2023
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Kaminski, A.M., et al. (2020). A review of inclusive business models and their application in aquaculture development. Reviews in Aquaculture 12(3): 1881-1902.
Kaminski, A.M., et al. (2023). Smallholder aquaculture diversifies livelihoods and diets thus improving food security status: evidence from northern Zambia. Agriculture & Food Security, 13(1): 2024.
Kaminski, A.M., et al. (2022). The Role of Aquaculture and Capture Fisheries in Meeting Food and Nutrition Security: Testing a Nutrition-Sensitive Pond Polyculture Intervention in Rural Zambia. Foods, 11(9), 1334.
Kaminski, A.M. et al. (2023). Growing smaller fish for inclusive markets? Increasing stocking density and shortening the production cycle of Nile Tilapia in cages on Lake Victoria. Aquaculture, 581, 740319.
Abstract: Commercial aquaculture in Africa has boomed in recent years. The capital-intensive growth of tilapia aquaculture in countries like Zambia and Kenya is supplying thousands of tonnes of fish to markets. This has caught the attention of governments, donors and experts who have renewed calls for greater efforts to develop aquaculture in the region. Much of the focus is on defining and measuring production systems and pushing for improvements in production efficiency. While such approaches are important, an overfocus on production and productivity threatens to overshadow approaches that may be more beneficial for human nutrition and health outcomes. A fixation on commercial growth can disaffect smallholders and lower-income consumers who struggle to access the value chain efficiently. This thesis argues for a refocus of the current productivist paradigm towards more nutrition-sensitive aquaculture. It begins with a quantitative assessment of smallholder tilapia farmers in Zambia, teasing out the role of aquaculture to household livelihoods, dietary diversity, and food security; going beyond production potential by assessing the value of fishponds to farming systems and human wellbeing. This is followed by a chapter that introduces a nutrition-sensitive pond polyculture technology trialled in the same rural communities. The results show that cultivating multiple species and promoting intermittent harvesting of various micronutrient-rich fish increases nutrition security for households. The second part of the thesis assesses the oft-overlooked consumer preferences for tilapia compared to other animal-source foods, and why they are important to incorporate into value chain developments. A quantitative consumer study set in Kenya shows how a preference for small tilapia, especially among poorer people, can allow producers to redesign their production systems and target markets. A follow up chapter introduces a nutrition-sensitive solution for commercially-oriented production systems in Kenya, based on the results of a trial that purposively grew small tilapia by increasing stocking densities and shortening production cycles. The thesis concludes with an argument for inclusive value chains and greater food sovereignty where the needs of poor and vulnerable communities are included, and where nutrition and health outcomes are prioritised.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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