24 Jul, 2018

Apatsa Chelewani (left) and Hassib Sainan (right) working in their respective institutions
Two Masters students in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science are being hosted by two German research institutions under a sponsored exchange visit by the project ‘Improving Community Health-Nutrition Linkages Through Solar Energy-Based Fish and Crop Integrated Value Chains’ – Ich liebe fisch (I love fish), in partnership with Africa Center of Excellence in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (AquaFish ACE) at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

The students, Hassib Sainan and Apatsa Chelewani, are expected to stay in Germany for a period of three months and will return to Malawi in August 2018.

One of the students, Apatsa Chelewani, is based at Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB) in Lübeck and is receiving hands-on training in Fish Genetics and Molecular Biology, Cryopreservation of fish gametes and its possible application in aquaculture.

The other student, Hassib Sainan, is based at the Association for Marine Aquaculture (GMA) in Büsum and is being trained in advanced fish larvae rearing techniques for the mass production of quality fingerlings under the supervision of Dr. Bernd Ueberschär, a Senior Scientist at GMA and specialist in Aquaculture and propagation of fish. Dr. Bernd Ueberschär is one of the German partners in the above-mentioned project.

Commenting on the development, AquaFish Deputy Director and Coordinator, Dr. Daud Kassam, said the center is delighted to have played a role in sending the students to Germany for the internship.

“Capacity building is key to the development of any sector with aquaculture being no exception and we expect that these students will receive training from some of the leaders in global aquaculture research which we believe will be a good development for the country and, indeed, the region,” added Dr. Kassam.

Weighing in his views on the training, Hassib Sainan could not hide his excitement for being one of the students relied upon to tap knowledge at the institute for the benefit of Malawi.

“In the few weeks I have stayed here, I have already leant a lot, which I know would not have been offered in my home country and I believe the training will be worth it by the end of the period,” Said Sainan. The knowledge he is acquiring at the GMA will be essential to accomplish experiments with Chambo (Oreochromis karongae) larvae in the solar powered hatchery which has been set up at the Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Department farm from the German partners in April 2018.

A Senior Scientist at Fraunhofer EMB who is also the Coordinator for the I Love Fish project, Dr. Marina Gebert, assured the LUANAR counterparts that the visit of the two students under the scholarship is welcome.

Said Dr. Gebert; “These two brilliant students are who we need to work with and we hope more of their kind will continue coming forth in the future to advance the knowledge and expertise they are benefiting from our institutions to apply to Malawi.”

At the end of the training, the LUANAR students are expected to directly apply what they have learnt in their specific fields to shape LUANAR’s programs targeted by the I love fish project with Oreochromis karongae (Chambo) as the species of focus. I love fish project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.