Upgrading pangas and tilapia value chains in Bangladesh

Start date
March 1, 2015
End date
February 29, 2020
Project code
Total grant
Contact person
Max Nielsen

Growth in aquaculture is important because it can help alleviate poverty by providing food and creating jobs in Bangladesh. The purpose is to promote green growth in freshwater pangas/tilapia aquaculture by providing knowledge on how to improve water quality and farm management and exploit the market potential for farmed fish through value chains functioning. Focus is on water quality since pangas/tilapia might include contaminants, offflavors and be a bit yellow, not white, as preferred by the consumers at export markets.
Farm management, governance of value chains, knowledge on domestic/ international markets and on fish quality can improve the basis for sustainable growth, increase value added and prepare the sector for export, thereby providing livelihood for locals and foreign exchange. Knowledge is increased through senior research cooperation and by educating PhDs. Research questions are: To what extent are fish-depleting microorganisms, arsenic, lead and pesticides of economic importance? Can they be reduced? Do water quality initiatives pay? Who are the main actors in the value chain? What are the major bottlenecks? How are prices formed? How much are consumers willing to pay for improved quality of fish? Can chains be upgraded through governance, water and fish quality and export focus? The foundation is value chain analysis, economic optimization, applied economics and environmental science. The knowledge provided forms basis for assessing governance and firm management. It will be disseminated to actors in the chains.


Extra midterm report 2018:


The project has created multi-faceted knowledge of water quality, best farm management practice and value chain functioning in many dimensions, revealed by the different ref articles. More knowledge is to come.


1. Data/samples collected/analyzed.
2. Capacity building revealed by six PhDs, close senior/WP leader collaboration, shared arrangements for partners/other staff.
3. 8 articles published in int refereed journals, 1 forthcoming, 1 resubm, 8 subm, 15 in progress, more planned. 3 published in national journals.


1. 5 students enrolled in PhD double degrees, 1 in single degree. All have extension.
2. Start Conference held in Dhaka 28/5-2/6 2015, including a stakeholder meeting.
3. The Mid-term stakeholder meeting held at Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh, Bangladesh 12/11 2018.
4. 5 PhD courses/workshops held in 2016-17. At 23 October 2018 the workshop “Sustainable Fish Health Control” were held at University of Copenhagen.
5. Not relevant.
6. Two policy briefs have been published.