Sundardeep Women Fish Farmer Cooperative in the Chitwan district in Nepal, is engaged in carp farming integrated with vegetable production. Sundardeep was founded in 2012 and unites 25 female fish farmers. Sundardeep closely cooperates with other women fish farmer cooperatives in the region: Kapia Women Cooperative and Sri Churiya Cooperative. 297 women fish farmers and their families benefit from the activities from Sundardeep.
Fish production in Nepal is dominated by semi-intensive small-scale farming of carp. Sundardeep provides inputs to its members and organises trainings to women fish farmers and nursery owners on leadership management, integrated fish farming and nursery management. An important challenge for fish farmers in Nepal is the unstable and unpredictable supply chain of inputs. Farmers are unable to source fry and fingerlings timely, and at affordable costs either from government or from private hatcheries. As a result, proper planning of fish farming activities becomes very difficult. Weak transportation networks are a logistical constraint over the whole chain: for both delivery of fingerlings from nursery to farms, as well as for delivery of fish from farms to consumer markets. Most woman fish farmers lack economies of scale, financial resources and knowledge that can be utilised in marketing and product promotion. As a consequence they are limited to production aspects. Locally produced fish often has to compete with imported Indian fish available at lower prices.
With the support of ESFIM, the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) in Nepal and Sundardeep partnered in 2016 to conduct a fish market and value chain analysis for carp. The ESFIM project built further upon strengthening capacity development projects from the Finnish agri-agency for Food and Forest Development (FFD). These projects have supported the initiation of small-scale commercial ponds and integrated production of carp with vegetable farming. Economic research on improvement of the sourcing of fingerlings and insights in consumer demand however was needed to improve the market position of women fish farmers of Sundardeep. The results showed that there is an urgent need to adopt a strategy and action plan for disaster-risk reduction and to build resilience along the entire carp value chain. Further, there is a need to develop technical capacities, especially among hatcheries and nurseries in order to meet the demands for fish seed. Technical capacity development (water quality management, disease management and processing techniques) along the entire supply chain is important for sustainable and climate-smart aquaculture activities and to ensure good, healthy fish products availability on the market. In this respect, regulatory policies should be better implemented and introduced where they are lacking. With the insights and information gathered, Sundardeep and the other women cooperatives and groups can now better plan their fish production. Further, market and price information is used to develop the marketing and sales efforts of all the beneficiaries. The results have been shared with different relevant stakeholders and provide necessary input to promote evidence-based policy making.
Fish farming is the one of the fastest growing agriculture sector in Nepal. Due to increasing demand of fish, fish farming has a great prospects in Nepal. Cooperatives can adopt both grow out and seed production venture. However, due to less physical work and time requirement, women are more attracted toward fish farming. Unlike grow out farming hatchery and nursery operations are more technical and requires a bit physical work. Nevertheless, seed supply chain is shorter than carp supply chain and is more profitable.
- Gathering of all actors involved in carp supply chain from two districts in the same platform and listening their voice for policy brief
- Having women in key positions of the project conceptualization to implementation
- Having a policy brief
- Impressive team work