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Fish as the "bank in the water" - Evidence from chronic-poor communities in Congo

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  • Béné, Christophe
  • Steel, Elisabeth
  • Luadia, Billy Kambala
  • Gordon, Ann

Abstract

Small-scale fisheries in developing countries are often perceived as being a low-productivity and backward informal sector. As a result they are rarely considered in poverty reduction programmes and rural development planning. In this paper, we investigate the dual role of fish as a food and cash crop through data collected in river fisheries in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Fishing in this very remote rural region of DRC is operated both by men and women, as part of a household multiple activity livelihood strategy. The data shows that poor households rely heavily on fishing for their supply of protein-rich food, in particular through women's subsistence catches. Fishing also appears to be the main source of cash-income for the majority of households, including local farmers. Based on these findings and a review of the literature, the paper argues that small-scale fisheries can play a fundamental role in local economies, especially in remote rural areas where they strengthen significantly the livelihoods of people through their role in both food security and cash-income generation.

Suggested Citation

  • Béné, Christophe & Steel, Elisabeth & Luadia, Billy Kambala & Gordon, Ann, 2009. "Fish as the "bank in the water" - Evidence from chronic-poor communities in Congo," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 108-118, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:1:p:108-118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Morand & Amaga Kodio & Neil Andrew & Famory Sinaba & Jacques Lemoalle & Christophe Béné, 2012. "Vulnerability and adaptation of African rural populations to hydro-climate change: experience from fishing communities in the Inner Niger Delta (Mali)," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 463-483, December.
    2. Christophe Béné & Derek Headey & Lawrence Haddad & Klaus Grebmer, 2016. "Is resilience a useful concept in the context of food security and nutrition programmes? Some conceptual and practical considerations," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 123-138, February.
    3. Quddus, Abdul & Jui, Nusrat Zahan & Rahman, K.M.M. & Rahman, Mizanur, 2018. "Gender Role In Pond Fish Culture In Terms Of Decision Making And Nutrition Security," Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, vol. 38(1-2), September.
    4. Béné, Christophe & Belal, Emma & Baba, Malloum Ousman & Ovie, Solomon & Raji, Aminu & Malasha, Isaac & Njaya, Friday & Na Andi, Mamane & Russell, Aaron & Neiland, Arthur, 2009. "Power Struggle, Dispute and Alliance Over Local Resources: Analyzing 'Democratic' Decentralization of Natural Resources through the Lenses of Africa Inland Fisheries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 1935-1950, December.
    5. Béné, Christophe & Lawton, Rebecca & Allison, Edward H., 2010. ""Trade Matters in the Fight Against Poverty": Narratives, Perceptions, and (Lack of) Evidence in the Case of Fish Trade in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 933-954, July.
    6. Olale, Edward & Henson, Spencer, 2013. "The impact of income diversification among fishing communities in Western Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 90-99.
    7. Béné, Christophe & Arthur, Robert & Norbury, Hannah & Allison, Edward H. & Beveridge, Malcolm & Bush, Simon & Campling, Liam & Leschen, Will & Little, David & Squires, Dale & Thilsted, Shakuntala H. &, 2016. "Contribution of Fisheries and Aquaculture to Food Security and Poverty Reduction: Assessing the Current Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 177-196.
    8. Hartje, Rebecca & Bühler, Dorothee & Grote, Ulrike, 2018. "Eat Your Fish and Sell It, Too – Livelihood Choices of Small-Scale Fishers in Rural Cambodia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 88-98.

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