Socio-economic impacts of the Women in Aquaculture (WiA) project in Nepal

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Samantha D. Farquhar Nisha Khanal Madhav Shrestha Mathew Farthing Ram C. Bhujel


Subsistence crops and livestock are mainstay livelihood components in rural communities in Nepal. However, aquaculture is becoming a popular tool to combat household malnutrition and low economic opportunities. A household survey was conducted during January–April 2017 interviewing 71 women in Kathar village, Chitwan, Nepal to investigate the status and impacts of the Women in Aquaculture (WiA) project after a decade since project completion. The results showed that over 50 percent of the farmers interviewed had started their fish- ponds in 2000 with the support of the WiA project. The average size of ponds surveyed recently was 437 m2 and the average fish production per family was 123 kg/yr for all fish farms. Farmers supported by the WiA project had 18 percent higher average fish production per family than farmers with no project support. Farmers who had received project support produced 35 percent more fish per unit pond area (0.35 kg/m2/yr) than farmers who did not receive support (0.26 kg/m2/yr). The average fish consumption of a fish farming household (80 kg/yr) was approximately 2.5 times that of non-fish farmers (30 kg/yr). Fish farmers generated an additional average USD 265 in net profit annually by selling their fish. Fish farming women involved in the cooperative expressed a feeling of increased happiness and self-confidence and an increase in their education and skill set. Even after support from the WiA project had ceased, aquaculture practice continued to spread throughout the village. Non-project fish farmers started their farms by copying their neighbors and their farms became just as successful. Overall, the WiA project is deemed a success due to its long-lasting socio-economic impacts and further expansion; it should undoubtedly serve as a role model for further development efforts in Nepal and elsewhere.


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FARQUHAR, Samantha D. et al. Socio-economic impacts of the Women in Aquaculture (WiA) project in Nepal. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 40, n. 2, p. 289–295, aug. 2019. ISSN 2452-3151. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2019.
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