Fish consumption in urban Lusaka: The need for aquaculture to improve targeting of the poor
This paper in the Aquaculture journal aims to generate information on the fish consumption patterns of poor urban households and explore the role of aquaculture as a source of fish among poor urban households in Zambia. Data on fish consumption were collected through a cross-sectional study that analyzed a quantitative household survey. The results of the study reveal that the poorest households almost exclusively rely on small, dried fish products from capture fisheries while the slightly better off households among the poor strata tend to consume larger, fresh fish, such as tilapia, which are partly supplied by aquaculture producers. These results imply that the poorest of the poor households – unlike the better off households – are less likely to supplement their diets with fish products from aquaculture. This could have negative consequences for the food and nutrition security of disadvantaged consumers, given the stagnation of fish supply from Zambian capture fisheries and an increasing population that demands fish. For aquaculture to contribute more effectively to fish supply among poor consumers, the sector would need to further expand its economies of scale (to decrease unit production costs), explore producing smaller-sized fish (to increase accessibility), promote the development of small and medium-sized fish farming, and diversify production with respect to species and products that better respond to the needs of poor consumers.