Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Post tsunami: Asian agricultural banks formulate strategies for reconstruction of affected fisheries and aquaculture

Thailand, 21 Mar 2005 -- Bangkok, 21 March 2005 – In the aftermath of the tsunami, Asian agricultural banks agree to direct credit support for strengthening fisheries and fish farmers associations and their involvement in community-based fisheries management and utilization, with due consideration to the role of women in fish processing and marketing, a joint APRACA/FAO statement said today.

Credit and microfinance support to the rehabilitation of tsunami-affected fisheries and marine aquaculture should encourage sustainable management of fish and aquatic resources, a conglomerate of agricultural banks in Asia resolved at the end of a meeting held in Bangkok last week. This includes credit in support of livelihood diversification and micro-enterprise development in fishing and fish farming communities, granting special attention to fish processing and marketing activities carried out mostly by women.

During the meeting held in Bangkok from 14 to 18 March, high level representatives from agricultural banks discussed and identified strategies that should be adopted by rural credit organizations, banks, financial and micro-finance institutions for the long-term rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture. The workshop was organized by the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) in association with FAO.

[…] The meeting called on fisheries administrations to limit fishing capacity by types of vessels and areas and other means to ensure the economic viability and sustainability of credit supported investments in production assets. With a view to reduce and better manage risks, both on the side of fishers and financial institutions, insurance of fishing boats and crew need to be made mandatory and linked to the registration of fishing vessels. Government should introduce appropriate regulatory framework for this purpose if not already in existence. Governments could play a role with regard to re-insurance and assisting small-scale fishers through contributions to their insurance premiums. Regional options for the re-insurance should be explored.

[…] “APRACA member institutions are strongly committed to actively participate in the rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture, both in the medium as well as in the long-term” said Benedicto Bayaua, secretary-general of APRACA. U. Tietze, FAO senior fishery industry officer, noted that FAO was pleased to see credit and microfinance support provided by banks to the long term rehabilitation of the affected fisheries and aquaculture sectors, focusing specifically on rebuilding the livelihoods of fishers and fish farmers and on improving sectoral efficiency, sustainability and governance.

The workshop Designing effective disaster-related rural finance strategies with special emphasis on the rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in tsunami-affected countries. was attended by 44 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, together with resource persons from APRACA and FAO.

For more information on the outcome of the meeting, contact:

Benedicto Bayaua, APRACA secretary-general, email apraca@ksc15.th.com
Uwe Tietze, FAO senior fishery industry officer, email uwe.tietze@fao.org

RAP 05/10