10 May, 2018

Share this Article

LUANAR Vice Chancellor speaking at the event
Researchers from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) have emphasized on the need to intensify nutrition and breeding of fish species for the country to satisfy demand on local and international markets.

This was disclosed at a dissemination conference organised by WorldFish in collaboration with LUANAR and the Department of Fisheries, to make available to the various stakeholders the information generated through the Fish Trade Program’s research activities that were conducted in Malawiwith funding from the European Union.

During the conference themed “Research Results Dissemination Conference” which took place on Friday, the 27th of April 2018 at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe, it was transpired that there is high demand on the international market for fish species such as Chambo, Mlamba and Usipa.

A research which was commissioned by WorldFish to understand the level of fish trade between Malawi and its neighbours in the region found that intra-regional fish trade was larger than the official one, but it remained informal, with huge volumes traded by artisanal and small medium enterprises, most of which are headed by women.

Speaking at the conference, LUANAR Vice Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, said as an institution, they are committed to boosting production of fish by developing modern ways of fish breeding. “The Fish stock in the country’s lakes and rivers is declining but we are developing modern ways of fish breeding to boost production and nutrition value,” He said.

Country Director of WorldFish, Dr. Sloans Chimatiro, said that cross-border trade benefits women, but most of these women face challenges including harassment by unscrupulous border officials; and they are not provided with structured markets when they go to sell in countries such as South Africa. He further added that there were numerous challenges that are affecting fish exportation from Malawi.

We find that those that are involved in fish trade do not understand the procedures such as where to get permit, where to do fish inspection, how to maintain quality and safety standards for exportation, or where to pay for such permits, and so on,” said Dr. Chimatiro.

The WorldFishCentre, with funding from the European Commission, joined efforts with AU-IBAR and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), to implement a programme called “Improving Food Security and Reducing Poverty through Intra-regional Fish Trade in Africa”.

In Malawi, the Department of Fisheries and LUANAR implemented the fish trade program research activities from September 2015 with support from the WorldFish Centre. One of the key results of the projects was to “generate information on the structure, products and value of intra-regional fish trade in food security in Africa and make it available to stakeholders, in order to inform policy and practice of cross-border fish.” The research program contributes towards the 2014 African Union Heads of State and Government’s Malabo Declaration to “more than triple intra-regional commodity trade by 2025”.