Understanding heterogeneity among small-scale producers to inform development interventions: evidence from small-scale aquaculture in Bangladesh

Dr. Alexandros Gasparatos, Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI) University of Tokyo, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

Small-scale food producers are responsible for a large fraction of global food production, particularly in developing countries of the global South. However, many small-scale producers underperform due to lack of resources, capacity and/or access to improved technologies. Many international and national organisations implement very diverse development interventions targeting small-scale producers to improve their productive capacity, usually through the dissemination of production inputs, knowledge and/or improved technologies. Despite the general consensus that in many contexts there is large heterogeneity between small-scale producers, such differences are not always considered meaningfully in the design and implementation of development interventions. This is often due to lack of information, and can have important ramifications for the sustained adoption and ultimate success of such interventions. From this starting points, this presentation outlines an approach developed to assess the heterogeneity among small-scale aquaculture producers in Bangladesh that are a prime target group for the dissemination of an improved carp strain. It uses rich primary data from 4,500 small-scale carp producers across Bangladesh and highlights the significant differentiation in their production characteristics, performance and willingness to adopt improved fish varieties. The presentation reflects how such findings can be used to inform development interventions and technology dissemination efforts to both enhance their sustained uptake and ultimately maximise their development potential.

About the speaker

Alexandros Gasparatos is the Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at the Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), University of Tokyo. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). As an ecological economist, he is interested in the development, refinement, and application of sustainability assessment and ecosystem services valuation tools. He has applied such tools in different topics such as food security, renewable energy, energy policy, green economy, and urban metabolism, in geographical contexts as diverse as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Swaziland, and the UK. 

Venue: 0.18, UNU-MERIT, Boschstraat 24, 6211 AX Maastricht

Date: 08 May 2023

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CEST