This stakeholder workshop, is an interim component of a DFID-funded natural resources research program, incorporating two linked projects: R7064 and R7123. The project aims to investigate the potential for integrated aquaculture options within large and small-scale irrigation systems to bring benefits to marginal groups within diverse, risk-prone semi-arid and water-stressed regions of the world.
The purpose of the workshop was to elicit the opinion of a broad range of stakeholders on poverty focussed aquaculture options in both large and small-scale irrigation systems and to develop a framework for an in-depth study of aquaculture potential. Researchable constraints and development opportunities were identified through stakeholder analysis.
Attending the 2-day workshop were over 30 participants from local and central government, NGO's, donors, banks and research organisations.
The workshop commenced with a series of presentations based on available secondary data. These included: the nature of inland water resources including large (institutionally managed) and small-scale (farmer-managed) systems, aquaculture options learned from other areas of the world and the current socio-economic and gender context of communities associated with irrigation development in Sri Lanka. Open discussion forums, in which the opinions of participants were canvassed, followed these sessions.
Three different stakeholder sessions followed. In the first, participants were grouped according to their institutional background and asked to comment on their potential to gain from the project and their ability and constraints to participation. Lack of time and other resources were identified as a major constraint. In the second session stakeholders were placed into mixed groups and asked a series of questions designed to elicit their reactions to the project objectives. All participants agreed broadly with the need to address sustainability issues pertaining to inland fish production and the need for bottom up approaches to improve the potential of marginal groups to benefit. Finally in the third session stakeholders were invited to participate in the formulation of a research agenda based on identification of technical, institutional, socio-economic and biological constraints to aquaculture within large and small-scale irrigation systems.
In summary, all the stakeholders present endorsed the need for such a project enthusiastically.
Integration of Aquaculture within Irrigation Systems. Proceedings of Stakeholder Workshop held at Hotel Topaz, Kandy, 26-27th of November 1998. Working Paper 2.3, University of Stirling, UK, 109 pp.