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Learning Curves

OED
March 2007

SmallScaleFreshwaterRural AquacultureDevelopmentfor PovertyReduction

TheoutcomesofADBassistedaquaculturedevelopmentprojectsthatexplicitlysoughtto addresstheneedsofsmallscalefishfarmershavenotalwaysfavoredintendedbeneficiaries. Whatarethemainfactorsthatenableruralaquaculturetogeneratelivelihoodsandreduce poverty?Whatstepscanbetakentoovercomeconstraintsandoptimizethesefactors?


Background Aquacultureisanimportantfoodproduction systemindevelopingcountries.Ruralaquaculturemay bedefinedasthefarmingofaquaticplantsandanimals, usingtechnologiesadaptedtolocallyavailableand limitedresourcesofhouseholds. Foraquaculture,thePolicyonFisheriesoftheAsian DevelopmentBank(ADB)emphasizesincreasing productionfromexistingaquaculturefarmsandcoastal areas,andintegrationofaquaculturewithexistingcrop andlivestockfarms.By31December2003,ADBhad financed25projectswithmajoraquaculture developmentcomponents,withapprovedloans totaling$665million.Earlyaquaculturedevelopment initiativesdatefromthe1970s,butthemajorityof projectapprovalstookplaceinthe1980s,coinciding withasurgeinglobalinterestinaquaculture. Inthepast,determinationofbenefitdistributionwas notprominentinmostADBassistedaquaculture developmentprojects.Aquaculturewasoftennarrowly viewedasintensivefarmingofshrimpandprawn species,adoptedmainlybyrelativelywealthyfarmers toprovidehighvalueproductsforexports.Suchviews stillfrequentlydominatedespiteconcernsthatthe expansionandgrowthinshrimpfarmingwithout safeguardshasoftenledtoenvironmentaldegradation. Thisnarrowviewofaquaculturedevelopmenthides thepotentialoffishfarming,particularlyinthecontext ofruraldevelopment.
Operations Evaluation Department Asian Development Bank

Findingaquaculturedevelopmentapproachesto openuplivelihoodopportunitiesfortheruralpoor remainsachallenge.Thepoorfacemanyconstraintsto entryintoaquaculture,particularlyimpedimentstothe uptakeoftechnologiesandmanagementpractices becauseofsuchfactorsaslackofaccesstocapitaland resources,vulnerability,andaversiontorisks. Aquacultureoperatorsrequireaccesstoappropriate skills,landandwater,financialcapital,organizational arrangements,physicalfacilities,andinfrastructurein ordertoadopt,operate,andsustainrelevantfarming practices. In2004,theOperationsEvaluationDepartment undertookaSpecialEvaluationStudyonSmallScale FreshwaterRuralAquacultureDevelopmentfor PovertyReduction.1Thestudyaimedtoidentifyand assessthemajorchannelsofeffectsforlivelihoodsand povertyreductionofsmallscalefreshwaterrural aquaculture,andtorecommendstepstomake operationsinaquaculturedevelopmentmorerelevant forpovertyreduction.Thestudyappliedaconceptual frameworkbasedonamodifiedsustainable livelihoodsapproach.Toprobeaspectsoffreshwater aquacultureindifferentanddiversesettings,country casestudieswereselectedandundertaken,covering Bangladesh(threecasestudies),Philippines(three),and Thailand(two).Studymaterialwascompiledinbook formasAnEvaluationofSmallScaleFreshwater RuralAquacultureDevelopmentforPoverty Reductiontodisseminatelessonstoawideaudience.

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City, 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel +63 2 632 4444; Fax +63 2 636 2444; evaluation@adb.org; www.adb.org/evaluation/

SummaryofFindings Fivetypesofcapitalassets(human,social,natural, physical,andfinancial)arerequiredforpeopleto engageinsmallscaleaquacultureindifferentlocations. Thepresenceorabsenceofvariouscomponentsof capitalassetscanfacilitateorhinderthelikelihoodof success.Transformingprocesses(includingmarkets andmarketing,labormarket,rolesofpublicandprivate institutions,supportservices,facilitiesand infrastructure,legalframeworkandpolicies,aquatic resourcesmanagementandenvironment,and safeguardsforbiosafetyandaquatichealth)canalso facilitateorhinderthegenerationofdesirableoutcomes fromtheemploymentofcapitalassetsinaquaculture. Throughtheconceptualframeworkofcapitalassets andtransformingprocesses,thestudywasableto distinguishkeyfindingsandlessonsoffering considerationsformakingsmallscalefreshwater aquaculturedevelopmentbeneficialtothepoor.These findingsandlessonsaregeneralizedfromthecase studiesbutthecontextualissuesaresignificantand maybeapplicableelsewhere.Theyrelateto: Improvinghumannutrition. Recognizingvulnerabilities. Understandingbindingconstraintsanddemandfor capitalassets. Benefitingfromgroupformationandcollective action. Consideringcostsoflabor. Understandingmarketdimensions. Enablingaccesstocredit. Recognizingtechnologyimplications. Accountingforrisingfeedcosts. Securingfishseedsupply. Makingextensionmoreeffective. Benefitingfromprivateextensionservices. Recommendations Analyzeconditionsforlivelihoodgenerationand povertyreduction. Recognizebarriers,requirements,andrisks. Assessspecificdemandsonuserscapacityto operateaquaculturesystems.
Learning Curves available @ www.adb.org/evaluation/

Analyzeavailableoptionsforprovidingaccessto landandwater. Consideroptionsforfinancingaquaculture investmentsandoperations. Analyzemarketsandmarketingofaquaculture productsandfactorsofproduction. Analyzethelabormarket. Understandtherolesofservices,facilities,and supportinfrastructure. Assesstherolesofpublicandprivateinstitutions. Assessthepolicyenvironmentandlegalframework andtheirconditions. Protectaquaticresources,environment,andaquatic health. Recognizemultipleusesofwaterandminimize conflicts. Feedback ADBManagementsResponsenotedthatthe conceptualframeworkprovidedinthereportisavery usefultoolforthedesignoffutureprojects.TheChairs SummaryoftheDevelopmentEffectiveness CommitteeDiscussionscommendedtheinnovative nature,purpose,andformatofthestudy.Thestudy hadtakenthelearningprocesstoitsnextstep,namely, howcouldADBsaquacultureinterventionsbecome morerelevantforpovertyreductionthroughthe applicationofaconceptualframeworkthatrecognized farmersandoperatorsvulnerabilityandthe importanceoftheiraccesstovariouscapitalassets.The Committeeagreedthattheprivatesector,including nongovernmentorganizationsandsuppliers,had startedtoplayakeycomplementaryroleinthe developmentofthesector.Itfeltthatthestudycould indeedbecomeavaluablehandbookforADBstaff, practitioners,andresearchersalikeandshouldbe disseminatedwidely.Itappreciatedtheuseof photographsandencouragedsuchpracticeasanother steptowardsgreatertransparencyinevaluationstudies.
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ADB.2004.SpecialEvaluationStudyonSmallScale FreshwaterRuralAquacultureDevelopmentforPoverty Reduction.Manila.Available: http://www.adb.org/Documents/Reports/Evaluation/sst reg200407/default.asp

Team Leader: Njoman Bestari; Tel +63 2 632 5690; nbestari@adb.org