Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?

It was noted in our previous contribution to this discussion that the fisheries sector adds a seemingly small percentage to the GDP. However the sector also plays an important role in being able to help in ensuring food security and nutrition as outlined by the SSF Guidelines. The issue at hand is how can those involved in small scale fisheries be furthered developed given that these fishers inclusive of women may lack resources to continue undertaking fishery as their main form of livelihood.

The World Fish Center in Malaysia in a study of the role of Public Private Partnerships in Small-Scale Aquaculture and Fisheries concluded that some major factors that can contribute to successful PPPs include a supportive government PPP strategy, good leadership and management within the PPP, and transparency.[1] These very strategies can be enforced since it will ensure that communication will likely be enhanced allowing small-scale fisheries to be more able to voice their concerns thus ensuring sustainable fisheries in the long run.

Implementation of the SSF Guidelines in relation to this aspect needs the government to play their part. This would entail the full adherence to the laws regarding fisheries in a country. In Guyana for instance fishery legislations are not fully adhered to. There may be some fishers who may for example who may be operating without a license. The strength of a successful PPP needs the support of a government who will at all cost enforce fishery laws since the private sector will of course have no interest in being involved in a partnership where in the near future there are no longer fishery resources available. Laws regarding protected species for example should be enforced.


In addressing the issue to include the “voices of the marginalised”  farmers can be represented through co- operatives to voice their issues at the relevant government entities .In Guyana the ministry of Agriculture has a department of fisheries located within the Ministry of Agriculture. For the Public Private Partnership to be successful activities need to be co ordinated by government .Furthermore, government needs to provide the relevant information necessary to promote growth within the industry. The mobilisation of farmers through co operatives can spur the growth necessary due to greater bargaining power in the representation of the interests of the farmers in contrast to individual farmers seeking partnerships with government .It can be posited if individual farmers engaged in private public partnerships with the government they can gain an “unfair” advantage over other fisher men due to asymmetric information and more resources. In conclusion, partnerships can be fostered and strengthened through an entity such as a co operative representing the interests of the fisher folk forming a collaboration with the government to promote  efficiency in the sector