Maximizing the Productivity of Fish Farmers in India

Local fishers carry the inputs required for the fisheries experiment.

Local fishers carry the inputs required for the fisheries experiment.

Client: Tata Trust
Location: India
Sector: Aquaculture
Dates of Service:
IDinsight service: Monitoring
IDinsight contacts: Rob Sampson
Status: Active

The Problem

Inland fish farming is a relatively unexplored income-generating activity for farmers in India. Current evidence suggests that inland fish farmers in India are less productive than their counterparts elsewhere as most resources are channeled to large-scale aquaculture. To remedy this gap, Tata Trusts launched the Open-Source Fishers (OSF) program to increase the incomes of 200,000 families in India by expanding and improving inland fish farming. After better understanding how to improve productivity in the field, OSF will disseminate information about fish farming and build the fish farming value chain, through information campaigns, vendor networks, market access, and upfront capital injections in select communities.

IDinsight is leading an experiment to understand which inland fish farming methods maximize productivity for fish farmers and to improve Tata Trust’s monitoring systems by increasing the efficiency and implementation of the project as well as by managing the performance of the participating fish farmers.  IDinsight’s evidence will help generate insights to make inland fish farming in India a more viable income-generating activity, and to attract higher investments to the sector, particularly in the marginal tribal areas in which OSF operates.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

Through a learning partnership of at least two years, IDinsight ran experiments to determine whether innovative fishery techniques are profitable and feasible in the local context. We also developed a decision-focused monitoring system, improved OSF’s existing data collection processes and dashboards, and increased the analytical capacity of OSF staff through the co-creation of systems and experiments.

Based on lessons from poor fish growth in the first experiment, IDinsight is now conducting a second experiment to determine the best practices for inland farm fishing.