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Socio-economics and Gender in Aquaculture







"Socio-economics and Gender in Aquaculture", Úna Murray & Kesone Sayasane (1998), Consultancy report, FAO Gender consultants, Provincial Aquaculture Development Project (LAO/97/007), STS Field Document 2. 103pp.


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    Project
    ເສດຖະກິດ-ສັງຄົມ ແລະ ບົດບາດຍິງຊາຍໃນການລ້ຽງປາ 1998
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    The gender and socio-economic roles of men and women in different forms of Lao aquaculture (pond, rice-cum-fish, mini-hatchery) have not been widely investigated. This socio-economic and gender analysis study of Lao aquaculture was conducted in five Lao provinces within the scope of the UNDP/FAO project Lao/97/007. The Lao PDR population is predominantly involved in agricultural activities and increasing food security and income levels of poorer farmers of all ethnic groups are key priorities. The rural Lao PDR population depend primarily on rice cultivation coupled to a wide variety of other agricultural (pigs, poultry, buffalo etc) and wild food foraging activities for their food security. Both captured and cultivated fish is widely consumed and commands a premium price in markets. Easy access to fish for the family is one of the main reasons for both women's and men's interest in raising fish in Lao PDR. It is considered that there is a potential for increasing the scale and efficiency of aquaculture activities in Lao PDR. However, in most rural areas visited in Lao PDR during the study, aquaculture is considered as a side activity integrated with other agricultural activities. There are good opportunities to further integrate aquaculture into existing agricultural livelihood systems. The majority of men and women fish farmers interviewed conducted aquaculture primarily for household food security, with income generation as an added bonus only where surplus fish were produced. Fish production for food security is considered to require low labour intensity once established. There are high levels of interest.
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    Gender and Aquaculture in Lao PDR 1998
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      Gender and Aquaculture in Lao PDR: A synthesis of a socio-economic and gender alysis of the UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development Project LAO/97/007    The gender and socio-economic roles of men and women in different forms of Lao aquaculture (pond, rice-cum-fish, mini-hatchery) have so far not been studied in-depth. This socio-economic and gender alysis of Lao aquaculture was conducted in five Lao provinces within the scope of the UNDP/FAO project LAO/97/007 in mid-1998. There are several traditio l fish farming practices. There is a potential for increasing the scale and efficiency of aquaculture activities in Lao PDR. However, aquaculture needs to be integrated into existing agricultural livelihood systems. There are high levels of interest among women and men farmers towards aquaculture. Easy access to fish for the family is one of the main reasons for both women’s and men’s interest in raising fish in Lao PDR, with income generation as an added bonus only where surplus fish is produce d. However there are high labour and fincial entry costs for pond based aquaculture, which only some farmers may be able to sustain. Both women and men are involved in aquaculture, although each have different roles at different stages of the fish production cycle. In Lao PDR, men select the site for pond construction and as heads of households are regarded as owners of ponds. The production from ponds depends largely on the time and effort allocated by women and children for pond magement and f or feeding of the fish. Men are responsible for harvesting the overall yield, and women are often responsible for harvesting fish for household consumption. Women control the cash income from the selling of fish at the pond site and in the market, although consultation with their husbands on household expenditure is common. While in theory women have access to aquaculture training and extension, in practice their access can often be limited because of gender biases in extension services. Existin g village fish farmer groups are largely composed of men. There is scope for inclusion of more women fish farmers in such groups, or establishing women fish farmer groups. The Agriculture Promotion Bank (APB) is the only source of formal credit for rural farmers. So far, credit programmes have not yet supported aquaculture because it is still considered a risky venture. There are opportunities for gender sensitive aquaculture promotion through other organisations such as the LWU. On the basis of the study findings, this report presents a range of practical recommendations for more gender sensitive aquaculture development in Lao PDR.   
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    Aquatic Animal Health Management Issues In Rural Aquaculture Development In Lao PDR 1999
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    This paper describes the role of small-scale aquaculture in subsistence farming systems in rural Lao PDR. Small-scale aquaculture is a popular component of subsistence farming systems in Lao PDR, however rice cultivation is the principle activity during them on soon season and collection of aquatic products from rice fields is common. Results from a consumption and production survey of rural Lao subsistence farmers, many of whom were engaged in fish culture (84 %), are presented. Consumption of fish and aquatic products was estimated between 13 - 48 kg.capita-1.yr-1, representing between22% - 55% of animal product consumption. Livestock and fish production are the principle forms of income generation and the average value of fish production was $81per household; overall family income ranged between $372 - $594.household-1.yr-1.Minimising risk is a principal strategy in subsistence farming and this is reflected in the low input and low productivity of Lao rural aquaculture. Average pond size ranges between 550 - 1,520 m2, with water depth of about 50 cm. Productivity is low (417 - 708kg.ha-1.yr-1) due to low stocking densities (1 - 4 fish.m-2) and limited feeding. Low input aquaculture systems are not disease prone, but may become so during the dry season, or when increased inputs are applied. Livestock production is perceived as high risk due to disease, whereas the lack of significant losses in aquaculture is seen as a positive feature. Shortage of fingerlings for stocking a quaculture ponds and rice fields encourages importation from neighbouring countries. These imported fingerlings are often poor quality and survival appears to below. There is also a potential risk of introduction of diseases present in the countries of origin. Production of fingerlings within Lao PDR is limited to provincial hatcheries and a few private entrepreneurs. This activity is increasing and is susceptible to health management related problems. Health management issues limit production in Lao PDR and thereby constrain development, but are not causing direct economic loss. This may not be the case with respect to impacts on wild fisheries and fish movements. The lack of baseline information on aquatic animal health issues available for Lao PDR limits the ability to assess risk in the aquaculture and fisheries sectors.

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