Nearly 50% of all fish we consume is farmed fish. Aquaculture is an important source of high protein food for people worldwide. For aquaculture to become a sustainable option for ensuring food security: governance, disease, feed and seed issues must be tackled.
IDH aims to improve the sustainability of the aquaculture sector through tackling the following four bottlenecks. First, the sector seems to be restricted by a lack of central governance. The aquaculture sector is diverse – compare a smallholder Indonesian shrimp farmer with a large-scale Norwegian salmon producer- and the presence of a variety of certification schemes and government regulations add to this fragmentation.
Second, the main supply chain risks are related to health management. It is not uncommon that a disease outbreak hits the entire sector of a country. Disease risks may be avoided through cooperation among neighbors and through a data-driven approach. Neighboring farmers that share the same water publications do not by definition cooperate, although they might influence one another’s fish health through the water. And data that are already available within the supply chain that might hint towards the cause of a disease, are not always used to develop and adjust effective production practices.
Third, fish feed is not always sustainable. The feed can have a negative impact since an ingredient might be related to for example illegality, such as illegal labor practices; illegal caught wild fish or illegally cut rain forests.
And lastly, systemic constraints in the sub-Saharan aquaculture sector hinder investments that could unlock the production potential.
IDH aims to improve the sustainability of the aquaculture with regard to these issues through the interventions of the aquaculture program.
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Impact claim 1: IDH will contribute to improving the sector’s risk level by supporting a global, multi-stakeholder platform leading to a reduction in adverse environmental aquaculture farming practices by 2020. The platform will operate through the development and adoption of sourcing guidelines (including specific feed and health management best practices) for aquaculture certification and improvement models.
Impact claim 2: IDH will contribute to the development of a proof of concept for improved on-farm feed and disease risk mitigation strategies and market access. We will do this by supporting the implementation of responsible feed and health management best practices in the focus countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Ecuador).
Impact claim 3: IDH will trigger investments in critical bottlenecks (availability, affordability, and quality of feed and seed supply) to aquaculture production in Africa, with a focus on responsible health and feed management practices (as defined under impact claim 2) by 2020.
IDH orchestrates change towards responsible aquaculture. Building on our experiences with our landscape and commodity programs, as well as on our network in the sector, we develop so called aquascapes, where by strengthening collaboration and the adoption of technology we attract investments.
Tropical aquaculture is one of the most fragmented sectors, with thousands of companies involved with production, trading and retailing of fish products. We therefore strengthen collaboration as to develop joint strategies that tackle diseases and feed-related issues. We target collaboration both horizontally (e.g. between producers, between public and private sectors, with input suppliers etc.) and vertically (i.e. leveraging the market pull of front running traders and retailers).
Our activities may include the development and implementation of disease surveillance and control plans, knowledge sharing and the development of better practices to be adopted at the sector (rather than at farmer) level. In countries where aquaculture is not yet a fully developed, we promote collaboration as to strengthen distribution networks for the domestic and regional market.
Technology and data
There is huge variability in production and fish survival (most often with 2 percent digit fluctuation) and the causes of this variability are often poorly understood. We therefore support the sector’s professionalisation by promoting the use of technology and data to increase sector efficiency, traceability and transparency. As a result, producers can understand and mitigate disease risks, as well as improve their input efficiency, by understanding what influence inputs (e.g. feed, seed, antibiotics) have on their yields. Producers and traders can also use technology to increase transparency and accountability towards their (end) buyers.
Very few financial institutions are prepared to invest in aquaculture because of the risks and the lack of track record. We unlock access to finance to producers by attracting financial institutions into our aquascapes as to understand and quantify risks and risk mitigation pathways.
Private sector (sustainability) investments (in million euro)Target 2020 13.65Target 2017 2Results 2017 1.64
Number of producers/workers/community members trainedTarget 2020 30.000Target 2017 1.000Results 2017 2.377
Number of hectares where trained practices are appliedTarget 2020 25.000Target 2017 4.000Results 2017 16.972