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Are provisioning ecosystem services from rural aquaculture contributing to reduce hunger in Africa?

Villasante, Sebastian, Rivero Rodríguez, Susana, Molares, Yolanda, Martínez, Mercedes, Remiro, Javier, García-Díez, Cristina, Lahoz, Carmen, Omar, Isabel, Bechardas, Margarida, Elago, Panduleni, Ekandjo, Mikael, Saisai, Maiba, Awity, Lionel
Ecosystem services 2015 v.16 pp. 365-377
credit, development policy, developmental stages, ecosystem services, fish consumption, fish culture, food security, households, human development, hunger, income, infrastructure, livelihood, market structure, markets, poverty, Mozambique, Namibia
Despite the recognised advantages of rural aquaculture, little research has been done to assess its direct and indirect impacts on food security and poverty mitigation, especially in Africa. The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the role of fish-farming systems and their scale, market structure and institutional mechanisms in improving rural aquaculture in Mozambique and Namibia and, consequently, livelihoods and human development in rural communities.This study shows that rural households are strongly dependent on agriculture/aquaculture as their main source of food and income. In general, families making a living from fish farming as their main activity have improved their access to food and basic services. There has been a significant increase in fish consumption in households since they have been engaged in rural fish farming, and there has also been an increase in the frequency of fish consumption per week. This progress in food and nutrition security needs to be consolidated through fish-farming development policies. However, rural aquaculture is still a sector in the early stages of development and has to overcome limiting factors such as a lack of specialised technical knowledge, logistical infrastructure and difficulties in access to credit and markets.