FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1010
FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1010
FIPP/C1010 (En)

ASSESSING THE CONTRIBUTION OF AQUACULTURE TO FOOD SECURITY: A SURVEY OF METHODOLOGIES

by
Louise Cunningham
PhD Student
St Andrews University
St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 2005
 
Table of Contents

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ISSN 0429-9329

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© FAO 2005

Cunningham, L.
Assessing the contribution of aquaculture to food security: a survey of methodologies.
FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 1010. Rome, FAO. 2005. 25p.

ABSTRACT

Poverty, hunger and malnutrition affect millions of people across the globe; of these, 25 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa. The challenge is to find suitable and sustainable technologies which ensure them physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food at all times: a situation referred to as food security.

Many scholars, researchers, development agencies and policy-makers argue that aquaculture, the farming of marine organisms including fish, contributes to food security in many parts of the world including sub-Saharan Africa. A range of methodologies exist which assess the prevalence and extent of food insecurity. However, little is known about the extent to which aquaculture contributes to alleviating poverty and hunger.

This study surveys different methods which could be used to determine the contribution of aquaculture to improving food security. It focuses on four main essential components of food security, namely: stability of food supply, increased availability of food, improved access to supplies and more effective food utilization.

Findings indicate that physical, dietary and economic indicators are widely used to achieve this goal. However, because of the complexity and extent of global food insecurity, it is unlikely that, of the methodologies surveyed, a single one can ever accurately quantify the contribution of a given technology, such as aquaculture, to food security.

Further research is needed to address this issue. Perhaps a combination of indicators currently used into a methodology could be a starting point.



CONTENTS

PREPARATION OF THIS DOCUMENT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. AQUACULTURE: PAST DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE POTENTIAL

3. FOOD SECURITY

4. MEASURING FOOD INSECURITY

4.1 Qualitative method
4.2 FAO method
4.3 Individual dietary survey methods
4.4 Household income and expenditure surveys
4.5 Anthropometry

5. MEASURING AQUACULTURE’S CONTRIBUTION

5.1 Stability of food supply
5.2 Availability of food
5.3 Access for all to supplies
5.4 Effective biological utilization of food

6. THE OUTLOOK

7. CONCLUSION

8. REFERENCES

APPENDIX: Some indicators of malnutrition, poverty and hunger as mentioned in the text above


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