More than 111,470 fish producers in Bangladesh adopt improved pond management practices

Published on: April 30, 2021, Submitted by Cristiano Rossignoli on: April 30, 2021, Reporting year: 2020

Sustainable Development Goals Contribution

FISH activities via with funding from USAID under Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture Activity (BAA) project in Bangladesh have led 111,469 households to apply improved pond management practices. As a result 34,875 hectares of pond area have are now under improved management.

Bangladesh aquaculture is characterized by a diversity of farming systems and management practices, due in part to the rapidity of change and development in the sector, and to the diversity of specialized production technologies that have emerged in response to local comparative advantages in different regions of the country (WorldFish, 2015). This diversity presents challenges as well as opportunities to public and private sector extension systems supporting wide adoption of better management practices (BMP) across the aquaculture sector. Available aquaculture management and business practice guidelines and extension materials are scattered across many public and private groups, of variable quality, and disseminated in various media by groups with mixed capacity. Meanwhile, women and men fish farmers are commonly reluctant to change from current practices because of added risk to farming systems that are already vulnerable to a wide range of external factors. International standards for aquaculture certification are rarely applied, due to lack of Bangladesh-specific guidelines, low awareness for adoption among farmers and value chain actors and lack of market incentives. Compared to other Asian countries, Bangladesh lagged behind in the development and application of better management practices across major aquaculture farming systems and commodities. International standards for aquaculture certification were rarely applied, due to lack of Bangladesh-specific guidelines, low awareness for adoption among farmers and value chain actors and lack of market incentives.


In this framework, the USAID The Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Activity (BAA) aims to foster sustained and positive aquaculture sector growth through an inclusive market systems approach. The project developed, documented and shared a variety of best management practices customized to the different growing conditions, aquaculture production systems, farmer's capability and social context in the Feed-the-future zone of influence (ZOI), which compromises 21 districts in Barisal, Dhaka and Khulna divisions. The research within the activity has focused on  aquaculture technologies (improved genetics, fish health, feeds, harvesting technology), much of which are gender responsive , environmentally sustainable smallholder production systems and gendered barriers and opportunities in the aquaculture value chain.  To sustainably increase aquaculture production  of  farmed fish, approaching Asia regional standards of quality, pond and gher farmers, the input suppliers and their buyer must adopt and use better seed, feed, and best management practices (BMP). Considerable progress is being made in this direction with 111,470  fish producers having adopted best practices.

To sustainably increase aquaculture production of farmed fish, progressing towards the Asia regional standards of quality, pond and gher farmers, the input suppliers and their buyer must adopt and use better seed, feed, and best management practices (BMP). Despite the slowdown due to Covid-19, the aquaculture activity made excellent progress, and 23 new partnerships were signed in 2020. The reports highlight that 111,470 households have applied improved pond management practices of which 108,829 people supported to exit poverty thanks to fish sale. The BMPs, focused on hatcheries and nurseries and were carrier out through training, demonstration and farmers field days. Information, education and communication (IEC) materials have developed and distributed to participants.To promote the involvement of women in aquaculture, WorldFish researchers in Bangladesh and partners have been instrumental in the formation of a Women's Business Center. BAA also led to significant improvements in terms of food and nutritional safety for health with 4,592 people consuming small fish.

In addition, as a result of the adoption of best practices and management technologies, 93,910 tons of fish were produced increasing water efficiency and reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. The project intervention has also brought 34,875 hectares of pond area under improved management.

Some expected outcomes are:

Market System
● More feed, seed, aqua-chemical, equipment, fish buying companies embed appropriate gender and nutrition integrated BMPs to all women and men fish farmers in all locations in the ZOI.
● Service providers continuously update their offers of pond management/business services in line with fish farmer needs and available research knowledge.
● Public/private sector mechanism in place to translate emergent issues (i.e., latest biosecurity research) in BMP and their dissemination.

  Pond fish farmers:
● More women and men pond farmers adopt the full bundle of BMPs customized to their local conditions leading to increased productivity and income from fish farming. Besides, availability and consumption of nutrient-rich fishes will ensure more diverse foods, and thus contribute to improving family nutrition.

This will ultimately lead to increased productivity, income from fish farming and improved dietary diversity. The activity will continue to work with all key market system actors – private sector, government, universities, and civil society organizations – to re-align functions with the players best-positioned to advance continued aquaculture transformation that is inclusive of disadvantaged groups, including women and youth. The activity aims to reach 400,000 fish producers by the end of its mandate.

Stage of Maturity and Sphere of influence

  • Stage of Maturity: Stage 1

  • Contributions in sphere of influence:
    1.3.4 - More efficient use of inputs
    1.4.2 - Closed yield gaps through improved agronomic and animal husbandry practices


This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) led by WorldFish. The program is supported by contributors to the CGIAR Trust Fund. Funding support for this work was provided by USAID under Feed the Futur iniative, Bangladesh Aquaculture and  Nutrition Activity.


aquaculture pond management improved pond management practices


About the author

WADUD AKM ABDUL is at WorldFish - WF.