Farming catfish intensivelyVietnam

Catfish aquaculture is arguably the most efficient source of protein for human diets on the planet. It yields an average of 250 to 400 tonnes per hectare, that's about 50 times more than rice paddies of the same size. And in terms of water consumption per tonne of produce, the sector does far better than shrimp ponds or freshwater fish tanks, being nearly on-par with rice paddies. All in all, catfish ponds have a low environmental footprint per unit of output. Aside from its low water usage, it also has few impacts on water quality. What's more, discarded fish parts are converted into oil and animal feed, while nutrient-rich wastewater can be reused as fertilizer, further reducing waste and emissions. Some small-scale farmers are also combining aquaculture with crop farming, saving water and increasing their resilience at the same time.

Catfish aquaculture is perfectly suited to small-scale farming. At the same time, these traditional backyard ponds scale up to big business. In the past decade, the produce of backyard ponds has transformed into a vibrant commercial export industry, netting USD 1.4 billion in 2009 alone. Now, catfish farms in Vietnam generate over one million tonnes of food every year and employ over 170,000 people (WWF 2012). 1


CCAFS Big Facts - Farming catfish intensively in Vietnam:


  • 1

    WWF. 2012. In Vietnam, Helping Catfish Farming Become More Sustainable. Vietnam is the source of more than 90 percent of the world's pangasius exports, which have increased 50-fold in the last decade. The majority of this pangasius is farmed in 23 square miles of ponds across nine provinces of the Mekong River Delta—a critically important freshwater habitat. In 2011, the regions farmed pangasius production amounted to 600,000 tons. This intensive, high-volume production system is very efficient, a workable commercial method providing protein to a growing world population that experts estimate could reach 9 billion by 2050.

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CCAFS Climate-Smart Agriculture 101

The basics

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

A. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development;

B. Adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and

C. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).

Entry points

Agriculture affects and is affected by climate change in a wide range of ways and there are numerous entry points for initiating CSA programmes or enhancing existing activities. Productivity, mitigation and adaptation actions can take place at different technological, organizational, institutional and political levels. To help you navigate these myriad entry points we have grouped them under three Thematic Areas: (i) CSA practices, (ii) CSA systems approaches, and (iii) Enabling environments for CSA. Each entry point is then described and analysed in terms of productivity, adoption and mitigation potential and is illustrated with cases studies, references and internet links for further information.

Develop a CSA plan

Planning for, implementing and monitoring CSA projects and programmes evolves around issues of understanding the context including identification of major problems/barriers and opportunities related to the focus of the programme; developing and prioritizing solutions and designing plans; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Most major development agencies have their own framework for project and programme formulation and management but CCAFS has developed a specific approach for planning, implementing and assessing CSA projects and programme called CSA plan. CSA plan was developed to provide a guide for operationalizing CSA planning, implementation and monitoring at scale. CSA plan consist of four major components: (1) Situation analysis; (2) Targeting and prioritizing; (3) Program support; and (4) Monitoring. evaluation and learning.


To meet the objectives of CSA, such as agricultural development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, a number of potential funding sources are available. For instance, climate finance sources may be used to leverage agriculture finance and mainstream climate change into agricultural investments. This section offers an overview of potential sources of funding for activities in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at national, regional and international levels and for a number of different potential ‘clients’ including governments, civil society, development organizations and others. Additionally, it includes options to search among a range of funding opportunities according to CSA focus area, sector and financing instrument.

Resource library

CSA Guide provides a short and concise introduction and overview of the multifaceted aspects of climate-smart agriculture. At the same time it offers links to references and key resources that allows for further investigations and understanding of specific topics of interest. In the resource library we have gathered all the references, key resources, terms and questions in one place for a quick overview and easy access that can be used as a part of or independently of the other sections of the website. The resource library is divided into six sections; (1) References – list all publications, links and blogs referred to on the website; (2) Tools – list all the CSA tools presented on the website; (3) Key terms – explains the most important and frequently used terms related to CSA; (4) Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – provides a rapid overview of the most common questions asked on climate-smart agriculture; (5) About – where you can find out more about the purpose and structure of, as well as on the organizations and authors behind the website; (6) Contact.

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