The project “Feed the Future” works for the betterment of poor fish farmers as well as the betterment of the aquaculture industry of Bangladesh
The USAID has initiated the process of procuring 160,000kg of fish through WorldFish from farmers in Farmer-to-Farmer (FtF) zones as part of its response to poor harvest management amid Covid-19.
The target is the betterment of poor fish farmers as well as the betterment of the aquaculture industry of Bangladesh, said speakers at a virtual program on Monday.
This initiative is part of the USAID funded project, “Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Nutrition Activity,” which has a fund of $24.5 million.
The FtF zone consists of 21 southern districts under three divisions and two other districts of Chittagong. The million-dollar project, starting on February 6, 2018, has so far invested $2.42 million in the aquaculture sector, engaging 236,530 producers, including 3.76% of women and 4.11% of youth, the keynote report read.
Some 9694 farmers (77% women) were trained on Carp Mola polyculture technology, improved hygiene and nutrition practices.
Fish sales earned in 2020 after using improved technology and management practices amounted to $155,213,875, the report noted.
Although the project is running well despite the risks posed by Covid-19, there are challenges, such as access to finance and slow technology adoption.
Some other challenges include difficulty accepting women as sellers, farmers not accustomed to supplying fish according to specifications (size, piece), poor post-harvest management, storage and processing, supporting women to achieve gender equality, said speakers at the program.
The goal of the project is to achieve inclusive aquaculture sector growth through a market system approach.
Md Nurul Bhuiyan, senior manager (Market Systems, Aquaculture Activity) of WorldFish said: “We are trying to have good relations develop between the government and aquaculture farmers. We will continue to fulfill our duty for the betterment of the fisheries sector.”
Muhammad Khan, acting director of USAID Office of Economic Growth, and Maksudur Rahman, country director of the Farmer to Farmer activity of USAID, spoke among others.
Since the inception of this five-year project, WorldFish has been collaborating with 68 partners ranging from financial institutions, fisheries feed, input suppliers, retailers, fisheries and aquaculture machinery manufacturers at the local and national levels.