Promoting aquaculture in rural Sri Lanka

The challenge

To diversify its rural economy and increase food production, Sri Lanka is placing priority on aquaculture, particularly in the northern and eastern provinces which recently emerged from civil conflict. While aquaculture holds promise, it needs to be managed in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Increased access to knowledge is required in order to develop ecologically sound and profitable aquaculture systems.

Enhancing knowledge with alternative production options is critical to ensure that aquaculture successfully contributes to sustainable rural livelihoods.

The research

This project, supported by IDRC and GAC through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), aims to find innovative ways to deliver market, technology, and environmental information about aquaculture to households in parts of Sri Lanka emerging from conflict. Households headed by women (often widows) will be included, as most women in the area have limited incomeearning opportunities, education, and skills.

Researchers in Sri Lanka and Canada will conduct a gendersensitive analysis of current aquaculture practices and will design improved ways of connecting people with government programs to improve aquaculture production in the country. They will also test methods for gathering and sharing information between farmers, government, and academics. Finally, they will explore the role of women as key actors in helping provide information on sustainable community aquaculture programs.

Expected outcomes

  • Increased aquaculture productivity and income
  • Improved knowledge and information-sharing between aquaculture farmers
  • Widespread availability of technical information in local languages
  • Creation of a legacy of farmers, particularly women, able to access, share, and apply knowledge about sustainable aquaculture

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, August 1, 2010

End Date

Monday, July 1, 2013


24 months

IDRC Officer

Sara Ahmed

Total funding

CA$ 929,450


Southern Asia

Project Leader

Dr. Craig Stephen


Governors of The University of Calgary

Institution Website