I am honored to be invited to virtually deliver a statement at the Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20, organized in Shanghai. Aquaculture or aquafarming in Thailand, and in many other countries, is a very important mechanism to procure food security. It has contributed to an increase of food intake especially protein intake of our population. It also has a great impact on increasing the national income from exporting aquaculture products. We have both freshwater and saltwater aquaculture, including breeding of fish, shellfish, algae, crabs, lobsters, shrimps and Artemia, or brine shrimp for fish feeding, etc.
Apart from aquatic animals, aquaculture also promotes breeding of aquatic plants. In Thailand we grow water plants, like lotus and water lilies. Both are decorative plants. Lotus is used in religious ceremonies, and lotus seeds, petals and roots are well known in Thai cooking. Some are herbal medicines. Waterlilies stems can also be used in Thai cooking.
Hydroponics can also contribute to aquaculture. We grow plants in water without using soil. Instead of soil we add plant nutrients in the water, but we must be careful not to overuse artificial chemicals. When I grow hydroponic plants, I use farm animal droppings or dungs instead of chemicals, as I have chosen to buy dung from organic farms.
It has been over 40 years that I have worked on education and nutrition, especially in schools and communities in the remote areas of Thailand and in other countries, and I must say that aquaculture has been an important tool in my project. Food from aquaculture is usually nutritious and inexpensive, and so it can be a good food source for all. In fact most communities are already familiar with aquaculture. We can just lend them a hand to help improve breeding, feeding, harvesting and processing those aquatic species, turning them into nutritious food and also valuable products for sale. For this reason, I have fully adopted aquaculture as a solution to achieve the goal of “Good Food for All”.
In an international conference like this one, there are many stakeholders from various governments and civil societies, coming together to brainstorm for the solutions for global food and nutrition security. May I express my support of aquaculture as a “Global Solution” to reach Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger, to save the peoples of the world threatened by pandemic, climate change, environmental degradation and frequent natural calamity.
Thank you very much.