By M. Gulam Hussain
Overall editing and formatting by Alaina Dismukes
The policy workshop by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish funded activity called Aquaculture Value Chain Development Strategies in Bangladesh was held on July 14, 2023, at BRAC Inn Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Over 170 invited national and international participants and stakeholders were present at the workshop and represented a number of institutions, organizations, and universities such as the Department of Fisheries (DoF); Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU); Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI); International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr’b); WorldFish; Eon Aquaculture Ltd.; Texas State University; Dhaka University; Banghandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman Agricultural University; Sher-E-Bangla Agricultural University; and Patuakhali Science and Technology University. Additionally, 20 fish hatchery owners, nursery owners, and farmers from the Mymensingh and Patuakhali regions of Bangladesh attended.
The day-long workshop was organized jointly by BAU, Texas State University, and the USAID-funded Fish Innovation Lab. Shamsul Alam, state minister for the Ministry of Planning with the government of Bangladesh, was the chief guest of the venue. Kh. Mahbubul Haque, director general for DoF, and Zulfikar Alii, director of administration and finance for BFRI, were the special guests, and the workshop was chaired by M. Gulam Hussain, Fish Innovation Lab Asia regional coordinator. Emdadul Haque Chowdhury, the vice-chancellor of BAU, was the chief patron of the workshop.
Madan Mohan Dey, the U.S. lead principal investigator of the activity from Texas State University, gave the welcome address and presented an overview of the workshop. He briefly explained the goal and objectives of the activity carried out in Bangladesh, which was to analyze the economic implications of the aquaculture value chain in terms of food security and market access to provide some basic inputs for overall fisheries policies with a major emphasis on aquaculture policy.
Md. Akhtaruzzaman Khan, the Bangladesh principal investigator of the activity, made a detailed presentation of the activity's accomplishments. He explained the results, major achievements, and overall outcomes from the work, including impacts on the export market competitiveness and comparative advantages of major aquaculture species in Bangladesh. He also highlighted the constraints in the aquaculture input markets that influence domestic access for aquaculture producers and pointed out the food and nutritional impacts of increased aquaculture production. Aquaculture farmers' feed costs are much higher, and the profit margin is less in Bangladesh in comparison to Vietnam. Therefore, it is recommended that government departments regulate the high price of aquaculture feeds in Bangladesh.
During his address, Chief Guest Shamsul Alam praised the activity for generating information that will be useful for aquaculture policy. The director general of DoF also expects to share some of the generated aquaculture strategies in the forthcoming fisheries policy document being formulated by DoF soon. Emdadul Haque Chowdhury, the vice-chancellor of BAU, expressed his gratitude to the Fish Innovation Lab for their funding and all other support to this activity as well as two other ongoing activities at BAU. He thanked Madan Dey, Akhtaruzzaman Khan, and the research team for conducting and developing such promising aquaculture value chain strategies, which will indeed play a vital role in formulating related national policies in Bangladesh.
Published July 27, 2023