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The Contribution of Fish to Food and Nutrition Security in Eastern Africa: Emerging Trends and Future Outlooks

Kevin Obiero (), Paul Meulenbroek (), Silke Drexler (), Adamneh Dagne (), Peter Akoll (), Robinson Odong (), Boaz Kaunda-Arara () and Herwig Waidbacher ()
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Kevin Obiero: Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Pap-Onditi 136–40111, Kenya
Paul Meulenbroek: Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
Silke Drexler: Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
Adamneh Dagne: National Fisheries and Aquatic Life Research Center, Sebeta 64, Ethiopia
Peter Akoll: Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, School of Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala 7062, Uganda
Robinson Odong: Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, School of Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala 7062, Uganda
Boaz Kaunda-Arara: Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Eldoret, Eldoret 1125-30100, Kenya
Herwig Waidbacher: Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-15

Abstract: :Approximately 200 million people in Africa derive high-quality and low-cost proteins from fish. However, the consumption of fish is not fully exploited to combat the “triple burden” of malnutrition—obesity, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies which are the leading causes of poor health in the region. There is still limited knowledge on quantitative information to guide policy makers in developing evidence-based actions that can improve the availability of and access to nutritious food for healthy and sustained diets among children and care givers. In this paper, we review the available literature with the aim of assessing and quantifying the extent to which fish contributes towards fighting food and nutrition insecurity in the Eastern Africa subregion. Key results reveal the region is characterized by fish supply deficits, and hence, low levels of fish consumed per person. Nonetheless, the increase in fish imports, and the growing supply of fish from aquaculture are likely to improve the per-capita fish intake. Fish trade is generally bidirectional, with exports exceeding imports in value terms, while significant challenges still hinder domestic and intra-regional fish trade. The Eastern Africa region is projected to realize increased fish consumption from 4.80 kg in 2013 to 5.49 kg by 2022. Rising population growth and income levels imply that the region will need 2.49 million tonnes of fish to fill the demand–supply gaps. We recommend that food security and nutritional programmes should recognize the potential of fish in providing essential micronutrients from the aspects of improved dietary quality, nutritional status, and general wellbeing of the region’s fast growing population.

Keywords: fish; food security; aquaculture; production; consumption; trade and marketing; Eastern Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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