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Eliminating hunger and malnutrition can save millions of lives every year. It is generally recognized that aquaculture could make a substantial contribution to achieving this goal, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. If socially acceptable, economically viable and environmentally friendly, aquaculture could also play an essential role in reducing poverty. However although methods are in place for identifying those affected by food insecurity, the methodologies of assessing the contribution of technologies, such as aquaculture, to food security and poverty reduction are poorly documented. Because of the complexity and extent of food insecurity, it may be difficult to devise a single method for assessing aquaculture’s contribution to alleviating poverty and hunger. There are a number of biological and socio-economic indicators that give a good indication of whether a technology is beneficial to global, national and local food security. Assessing and quantifying even small benefits is essential for improving food security as it allows the advantages of one type of food production to be compared with the advantages of others. Further work should combine the indicators outlined in this study to form a single methodology to assess the contribution level of both small-scale and commercial aquaculture to alleviating hunger and poverty in different parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The outcome would determine the extent to which the promotion of this sub-sector should be encouraged in the many food insecure regions of the world where its sustainable development is possible.

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