Aquaculture has a strong potential to contribute to reducing hunger in the world said Kofi Annan when addressing delegates at AquaVision 2012.
At the same time he asked the major aquaculture companies represented at this global conference to continue to look beyond their bottom line and share knowledge and partner with the small fish farmers in developing countries.
Success for aquaculture in addressing global hunger needs that partnership with the large companies helping to make the inputs more affordable and enabling the small producers to export their products. He added that aquaculture also needs the facilitation of governments and support of society because we are struggling today to feed seven billion people. In 2050 it will be nine billion.
Small-scale production of fish can be located widely, in ponds as well as lakes and on the coast, and it can be integrated with water conservation. The farming of fish is about more than producing food, it is good protein that provides excellent nutrition and generates a means of earning an income, leading to economic development. In particular, women are often involved in these small scale enterprises and when that happens their children benefit from better nutrition. Annan quoted the example of Malawi where introducing fish ponds on small farms increased income by 60%.
Kofi Annan congratulated the industry for its focus on improving sustainability, with initiatives such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, then asked for more attention to the potential long-term impacts of climate change to increase productivity in conditions to come, in the developing countries as well as the developed world.