Fish is an irreplaceable source of micronutrients in diets in many developing countries, where large numbers of vulnerable people belong to 'fish dependent' populations. Previous WorldFish research has demonstrated that small indigenous species (SIS) of fish can be a particularly rich sources of key micronutrients, including calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and B12, and make a crucial contribution towards reaching recommended dietary micronutrient intakes, including for women and children. However, the availability of these species is declining in many locations, where habitat degradation, overexploitation of inland fisheries, and other environmental stresses have made once abundant and affordable SIS increasingly scarce and expensive. Farming SIS would help to enhance the availability of these foods and make them more accessible to low-income consumers, but the lack of hatchery breeding techniques for mass production of SIS seed is a key barrier to scaling of nutrition-sensitive aquaculture to its full potential. WorldFish is implementing a GIZ-funded project titled “Taking nutrition-sensitive carp-SIS polyculture technology to scale” to address this key bottleneck through applied research on mass production of SIS seed in Assam and Odisha states of India.

The project has 4 components: (1) Assess factors influencing the adoption of carp-SIS polyculture technology under by previous projects. (2) Develop protocols for the mass production and transport of seed of up to five nutrient-rich SIS; (3) Validate business models for reproduction and distribution of SIS species in partnership with private seed supply enterprises; and (4) Technical training and outreach to ensure integration into public and private investments for further scaling


SIS induced breeding protocol flow chart


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Stocking of hatchery produced mola seed 
(Amblypharyngodon mola): A guideline for farmers

mola stocking guide

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Impact Pathways

(1): Nutritional outcomes and technical, social and economic factors influencing the adoption, dis-adoption, diffusion, and adaptation of carp-SIS polyculture technology promoted by previous WorldFish projects in Bangladesh and Assam and Odisha State in India are analyzed and understood.;

(2):Technical protocols for the sustainable mass production of seed and transport of 3-5 key nutrient rich SIS developed.;

(3): Inclusive business and entrepreneurial models for commercial production and distribution of 3-5 nutrient rich SIS species established and functional in at least 30 private actors in the fish seed supply chain for piloting to service smallholder farmers.;

(4): Public and private sector and development partners enhanced their capacities for further scaling in India, and in other FISH CRP focal countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia

2 Zero Hunger SDG