Dhaka, Saturday   23 February 2019

Mola in ponds improves others` nutritional quality

 News Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 03:26 PM, 23 February 2019  

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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 Organization (FAO).

“Mola breed in the pond, and the frequent harvesting of small quantities favors 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 percent to 80 percent 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 bio-available 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 poly-culture, 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 programs 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 poly-culture 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.

“However, to fully realize its potential to improve nutrition, further data are needed on nutrient bioavailability, on intra-household seasonal consumption and on cleaning, processing and cooking methods for small fish species,” the report says.