Year: 2014 | Month: December | Volume 59 | Issue 4
Rural aquaculture – Now and Then
Rural aquaculture as a weapon to fight poverty and reduce inequality has received renewed attention in recent years. It contributes to poverty alleviation and provides employment to millions of people, both in the sector itself as well as in support services. Rural aquaculture pertains to the farming of aquatic organisms by small-scale farming household or communities, usually by extensive or semi-intensive low-cost production technology appropriate to their resource base. In rural aquaculture there is low level of fish production for household use and family income. Its production and income potential has largely remained undocumented. Development of rural aquaculture can be accomplished in two ways - by increasing the area devoted to aquaculture and by intensifying production in existing aquaculture areas. Recent discourses on small-scale rural aquaculture concluded that aquaculture should not be viewed as an isolated technology but be considered as one aspect of rural development and form part of a holistic approach to development. The institutional mechanisms by which the rural poor can access and benefit from aquaculture are being duly emphasized. Researchers in India and elsewhere have demonstrated the impact of rural aquaculture on the lives of poor. In terms of providing nutritious food (fish being the cheapest animal protein) and creating employment opportunities aquaculture interventions have proved to be quite useful. Changing perspectives of rural aquaculture; shift in focus from productivity to profitability; aqua farmers turning into aqua innovators and several other aspects are discussed in the paper.
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