12 December 2017
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Friday, 17 November 2017 10:49

'I Love Fish' project helping nutrition status of communities in Mchinji

Written by  Sarah Munthali
Communities being trained on how to  process fish in Mkanda - Pic by Sarah Munthali Communities being trained on how to process fish in Mkanda - Pic by Sarah Munthali

Mchinji, November 17, 2017: In a bid to improve the nutrition status and improve health of communities in Mchinji, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) is implementing I Love Fish project in the district.

The project which started in October 2016 and will end in September 2019 is an action research project implemented through Department of Food, Science and Technology- Bunda campus through aquaculture and fisheries department and nutrition department with coordination from Germany based organization Fraunhofer Research Organization for Marine. (EMB)

The major goal of the project is to improve health, nutrition and incomes of smallholder farmer communities through collaborative implementation of a sustainable aquaculture practice for the endemic fish species in combination with crop production, in a closed nutrient cycle and with reduce water usage.

Speaking an interview with the Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Wednesday during a training for fish farmers at Kawere in Mkanda, the Project Officer for I Love Fish project Idrissa Nkwanda said the project’s main aim is to improve community health through solar energy based fish and crop integrated value chain.

Children eating fish porridge - Pic by Sarah Munthali

“We are implementing integrated agriculture and aquaculture, where we are practicing fish farming and vegetable production, we have two project sites in Mchinji and Nkhotakota where we are working with fish farming groups,” he pointed out.

Nkwanda explained that in Mchinji the project is working with three fish farming groups and the farmers have since been provided with different fish species fingerings, fish and vegetable fish feed.

“We are training fish farmers and care group women to process the fish so that they  can add value,  they are being trained on how to process fish sausage, fish samoosa and fish balls and fish porridge,” he disclosed, adding that on fish porridge the project is targeting nutrition of children.

Nkwanda views that the project wants to improve the economic status of communities by enabling them sell the processed and unprocessed fish.
He said that processed fish has more market value.

Assistant District Fisheries Officer for Mchinji, Alex Makanjira said since the project started working in the district with three clubs Tikondane, Chikondi and Nkawa, fish production has increased in the district.

“The I Love Fish project is the first of its kind in the district because the project emphasizes on improving the nutrition status of the communities, fish as protein and so far this is being achieved and as a fisheries department we are glad that the project is bearing fruits,” he added.

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