Category Archives: Bangladesh

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Poverty Alleviation Through Small Scale Aquaculture

Poverty Alleviation Through Small Scale Aquaculture

RDRS Project

Aquaculture is playing a vital role in the rural life for the farming people. Farmers in Bangladesh have a hard time simply generating enough food during certain seasons of the year. So much so that they’ve named these seasons “The Monga Period” – Translating roughly to “The Months of Death”.  These months make it near impossible to harvest crop due to seasonal drought. That said, 92% of the water being used by these farmers for their crops come from rivers making them more dependent on seasonal water. Luckily a new solution has appeared to generate food during “The Monga” Period.
The maximum daily source of animal protein comes from fish. Most of rural farmers have small ponds to culture fish. This project has been contributing extra income and sufficient fish consumption to the involved farmers’ household, thus boosting their knowledge of aquaculture and connections needed to learn more.  Fish culture is becoming as stable source of family income for these rural farming families as well.  
Not only does working the pongs give the farmers work to do but it also enables women and children to participate in fish culture easily. Which in turn helps to change the perspective and culture around female gender stereotypes and empowers women to work.

In the fourth year, total of Tk 343000.00 ($4174 USD) was distributed to the project participants Via AwF’s Help. The farmers used this money for purchasing fingerlings, lime, feed and fertilizer. The volunteers assisted the farmers for maintaining quality of the inputs. This revolving fund is interest free financial supports that make the farmer confident for stocking in time and ensured feeding to fish and fertilizing in pond.

These Ponds not only supply an effective source of income but also create a new source of nutrition and food for the family. The training and ongoing support from the project give the farmers them confidence towards fishing and fish culture, enabling them to move forward and potentially grow out into different areas.

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Bangladesh is no stranger to poverty. Unfortunately the women there are no exception.
Take Monoara For example: She lives in Bangladesh. She has a small family of just two sons and a daughter. Her husband works earnestly day in and out. But yet He can not earn enough to afford his family with his limited income. Her Husband’s tenacity gives gives Monoara strength, but what can she do with it?

The primary aim of this project was to introduce a new way of generating income to women like Monoara and many more. The solution was to introduce low input cage culture technology to poor women beneficiaries in two upazilas (Faridganj and Jhalokathi) of Bangladesh. In total, 35 women were chosen. The majority of whom have a pond near their house, most of which are under multiple ownership and used for household work as well as fish culture; however, beneficiaries have no previous experience in cage culture technology.

Low-input cage aquaculture offers a profitable option for rural women along with other activities such as homestead gardening, poultry and goat rearing, as an additional part of their households income. Cage culture enhances the status of women in the communities, thus changing the culture of the area for women, not just their income situation! Cage culture technology has the future for significant contribution to fish production in Bangladesh, especially in the communities where livelihoods and nutritional status is a major problem. And it can all be started for minimal amounts of Money

Monoara had just 3 days of training to operate her fish cage set up. Afterwhich she started going to work to help her family, and help her family she did: The total costs of the setup were about 1780TK ($22 USD), the gross sale was 2822.4 ($35 USD) which means the total Net Profit 1032.6 ($13 USD). This Might not sound like much, but in financial terms that’s an Return on Interest of almost 40%! Which is huge. As for Bangladesh food prices… well a single loaf of bread goes for just 13¢ USD. With those profits, that’s 100 Loaves of bread generated by these fish cages. That’s enough to make anyone happy, and Monoara was no exception.