VOICE OF EDITOR

Consumer Outreach, Education and Awareness is pivotal for Agrifood sustainability

November 21st marks World Fisheries day, wishing you all a great day this year. Fisheries and aquaculture growing in Pakistan and have captured the interest of stakeholders and Government. Many factors make fish farming a lucrative business one being fish as efficient converter as compared to other species. Advancements are making their way in this sector and new technologies (Biofloc, IPRS, RAS) have been adopted by the local farmers to improve their productivity and profitability margins. However, this can allow them to tap the export opportunity (as local consumption pattern devastating) which again is the supreme stage and require fulfillment of lot of standards and certifications. All these efforts will be in vain if the local consumer neglected.

Pakistan is the country with the lowest fish consumption per capita and also, we are among the nations that suffer from severe malnutrition and stunting around the globe. There is a dire need to outreach to consumer and educate them about the importance of consuming fish and clarifying their misconception about fish consumption. Local consumer is greatly convinced that fish should be consumed only in winters, this seasonality barrier need to be break. Moreover, the availability and affordability of fresh fish is again a challenge. Mostly fish handled in markets doesn’t present a good picture and further push the people to look for more hygienic and safe food.

With urbanization, a lot of opportunities are emerging including the fresh/live fish shops. I have seen that people are willing to pay premium for the quality fish but they often don’t know much about where to get the fish they wish to eat. I believe, if consumer outreach , education and awareness will be focused and proper campaigns rolled out, it will not only improve the perception of local consumer about fish but will also quadrupled its consumption. We can start with small street show style campaign from our near public place collaboratively and can spread the word on this fish day. Interaction with consumer is important to understand their behavior and preferences.

In this uncertainty, many activists have succeeded to pitch agrifood as biggest contributor to climate change and urging people to opt more sustainable food option. It is the right time to get advantage of such international days and clarify the misconception about agrifood as it immensely important for its sustainability.  The purpose of such drive is to improve the per capita consumption of fish by improving the understanding of local consumer for fish options and connecting them to fresh produce around the year.

This month we brought to you glimpse of global egg day celebrations and fisheries day focus of the year “consumer outreach, education and awareness”, Poultry club section highlights tips how farmers can combat with the rising feed cost challenge by tweaking on farm management practices and Aqua in depth clarifies some misconceptions linked to fisheries, we hope this would be interesting for you. Have a good month!

Once again happy fisheries day! Share your story how you celebrated this fisheries day differently!