I wish to emphasize the importance of focusing on points 5./6./4. when developing the scope and breadth of the upcoming report. Sufficient attention to socio-political issues in the sector seems to me as important as addressing technical matters - in effort to attain sustainable food and nutrition security while promoting increased incomes, sustainable livelihoods through equitable stakeholder inclusion and engagement. Integration of gender issues (5.) in particular are vital to the issues paper, as women are key actors and also partners with men in the entire value chain, e.g. fishers, owners of boats and equipment,processors, sellers and traders of fish (small and larger scale markets). However, women often do not often realise equal access and benefits to men, and can experience less voice and access to investment opportunities. Examples include: weak negotiating and bargaining power, less control over assets and profits, weak access to capacity development, credit, equipment and materials, information, limited collective action and voice, as well as limitations due to time constraints and conflicting demands due to domestic roles. It is imperative that attention to and support to gender equity and institutions is therefore duly emphasized in the report.
The above is directly relevant to other points 4 and 6, which address rights, benefits and institutions. These are inter-related. Promoting good practice in policy dialogue and formulation relies on strong and capable stakeholder institutions and particularly, civil society/producer organisations. Providing support therefore to strengthen and support these organisations to form and/or develop and further grow towards adequately engaging in policy dialogue, in strategic decision-making processes of the concern, and becoming involved fully as key actors and networks in investment activities is vital. Capacity development for producer/stakeholders, notably smallholders engaged in the sector, is essential - in a broad range of technical skills and aspects of management, trade, and policy.
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