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'Mola' farming in ponds improves other fishes' nutritional quality.

News Report The farming of vitamin A-rich mola species in the ponds of Bangladesh greatly improves the nutritional quality of the other fishes without affecting the growth of the carps, says a new report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

'Mola breed in the pond, and the frequent harvesting of small quantities favours home consumption. Production of only 10 kg of mola, per pond, per year in the country, where there are estimated 4 million small seasonal ponds, could meet the annual recommended fish intake of 6 million children,' the report reads.

The report titled 'The State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture' released on Saturday reveals that small fishes make up 50 per cent to 80 per cent of the total fish intake of the local population in the peak fish-production season.

'Although they are consumed in small quantities, the frequency of small-fish intake is high. As many species are eaten whole - complete with head, viscera and bones - they are particularly rich in bioavailable calcium, and some are also rich in vitamin A, iron and zinc,' the report said. Citing the findings of many studies and field trials conducted in Bangladesh with carps and small fish species in pond polyculture, the FAO report reveals the presence of the small, native and vitamin A-rich mola carplet significantly improves the nutritional quality of the total fish, without affecting the growth of carp fishes.

The FAO suggests there is scope for agricultural policies and programmes to promote the production of micronutrient-rich small fish in the areas where suitable fish resources are available and fish is consumed on a regular basis, and thereby increase people's fish consumption and improve their nutrition and health. Successful trials with the polyculture of small and large fish species have also been conducted in rice fields and wetlands and that is why the approach has the potential to be widely implemented.

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Publication:The News Today (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Date:Feb 24, 2019
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