IFAD_Cambodia component of managing aquatic agricultural systems to improve nutrition and livelihoods in selected Asian and African countries: Scaling learning from IFAD-WorldFish Collaboration in Cambodia _Technical Report 2018

Over the past decade, Cambodia has enjoyed strong economic growth resulting in improved livelihood for its population of 14 million. Despite significant progress, 4.8 million Cambodians remain poor, with 90% living in rural areas. Subsistence farmers, members of poor fishing communities, landless people and rural youth comprise the majority of Cambodia’s poor. Generally, this demographic does not have enough food to eat for the whole year, dietary diversity is low, and malnutrition remains high among children under five years of age.
Fish is an integral part of Cambodia’s culture, economy, and food security, contributing around 7% to national GDP and supplying 66.3% of households’ animal protein intake. Yet, the diet of many rural Cambodians remains heavily dependent on the staple food, rice, and dietary diversity is low. Increasing fish production and productivity, and in particular of small indigenous fish species, using the integrated Aquaculture / Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages approach can provide smallholder households with increased income and support food and nutrition security.
Household aquaculture ponds stocked with both larger, marketable fish and small, nutrient-rich fish species can be managed with limited inputs to generate extra income for households and provide additional nutrient-rich food supply to households over an extended period of the year. In addition, ponds can be integrated into the smallholder’s farming system, providing water for homestead vegetable production on pond embankments. This integrated approach has the potential to help address the constraints faced by many rural Cambodians and improve livelihoods and nutritional outcomes.
The goal of the Project is to improve nutrition and livelihoods of poor, rural households in aquatic agricultural systems in Cambodia, Zambia, Indonesia and Thailand through increased intakes of micronutrient-rich small fish and vegetables from own production, as well as through increased household income. The objective of the Project is to scale up the integrated Aquaculture and Fisheries/Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages approach, developed and practices in Bangladesh, in targeted communities in the selected countries by improving production and productivity of household ponds and dykes; increasing total and small fish production and fish species diversity in wetlands; support initiatives to increase consumption of micronutrient-rich small fish and vegetables