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Add To Calendar 28/04/2016 16:20:0028/04/2016 16:40:00Africa/JohannesburgAsian-Pacific Aquaculture 2016ESTABLISHING SCHOOL PONDS FOR EDUCATING STUDENTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND NUTRITION OF CHILDREN AND WOMEN IN RURAL NEPAL Diamond 2The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Dilip K. Jha*, Narayan P. Pandit, Ishori S. Mahato, Madhav K. Shrestha,
 and James S. Diana
 Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries
 Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal

We believe that establishing school ponds and a curriculum for school age children and women's groups should be an effective approach to educate rural communities about the nutritional value of fish and methods of aquaculture. Four ponds of 76-264 m2 in size were constructed, one each in four public schools of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts in Nepal. A school curriculum was also established to demonstrate methods of aquaculture and educate school age children on nutritional value of fish. This technology was also disseminated to women's groups to expand understanding of the value of fish production and consumption for their families.

Carps and Nile tilapia seed were provided to each school from nearby government fish hatcheries, and were stocked in each pond at 10,000 fish/ha (7000 carps and 3000 Nile tilapia/ha). The materials necessary to maintain ponds, including feed and fertilizer, were also provided to each school. Fish were cultured for one production cycle with the participation of high-school age students. A course of study was developed for teacher and student education on fish culture. About 30 students of grade 8, 9 and 10 and two teachers were selected from each school to receive training on fish culture. Training of teachers and students included fish pond construction, managing pond depth, pond preparation, species choice, water color, fertilizing, feeding, grow out, harvesting of fish, as well as nutrition education, including fish preparation and eating.

In addition to training of students, informal education activities were also carried out for women groups, which included forming two women's fish farming groups in the school community for each district. A training workshop was organized for each women's group. The topic was the role of household aquaculture in family nutrition and income. A linkage was developed so that the women's fish farming groups could ultimately work with the teachers and students in each school to ensure the long term sustainability of the school ponds.

The construction and running of these ponds was a very exciting event for the school communities. Often a number of adults showed up for events like stocking and harvesting, as well as visits during our training exercises. In fact, the ponds were so popular that in Kawasoti area a neighboring farmer constructed some ponds within a few months of our school pond construction, and the local people wanted advice and materials to construct a community pond on school property. We continue the training and testing of knowledge gained by the students involved, and hope to show a dramatic increase of awareness as a result of this project.

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