Incorporating fisheries and aquaculture in the National Food and Nutritional Security Strategies will help African governments to eliminate hunger and nutrition deficiencies, WorldFish Africa Regional Director Patrick Nalere has said.
In a statement released today, Nalere bemoaned the slow inclusiveness of fish trade in most African countries, which he said is eventually crashing the continent’s economy.
“It is clear that despite major interventions and initiatives to promote fisheries development and intra-regional trade, sub-Saharan Africa still faces challenges in boosting fish trade, especially intra-regional trade to serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Nalere said that the Fish Trade Program aims to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by enhancing the capacities of regional and pan-African organizations to support their member states to better integrate intra-regional fish trade into their development and food security policy agendas.
His remarks come days after the African Union Commission (AUC) organized a three-day commemoration of the 6th Africa Day Food and Nutrition Security in Uganda, whose objective was to bring awareness on the importance of scaling up food nutrition across the region.
Nalere further said World Fish is supporting African Union’s commitment to end hunger by 2025 through research to enhance the role of fish in food and nutrition security.
According to Nalere, World Fish is implementing a number of research-in-development programmes across Africa, and the Fish Trade programme is working in four corridors in Africa.
Recent studies by FAO and NEPAD Agency have reported that the fisheries and aquaculture sector create a lot of jobs, supplies food and supports livelihoods of close to 2 percent of the economically active population of Africans.
“Therefore, in many coastal and continental states in Africa, where fish is a major source of food, the African Union commitment to end hunger and reduce stunting by 2025, will not be achieved efficiently without including fisheries and aquaculture in the National Food and Nutritional Security Strategies,” Nalere said.
WorldFish, an international research organization that harnesses fisheries and aquaculture to reduce poverty, is leading in the implementation of a European-Union funded Fish Trade program, called “Improving Food Security and Reducing Poverty through intra-regional Fish Trade in sub-Saharan Africa”, together with African Union Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the Nepad Agency.
The programme aims to boost fish trade, especially intra-regional trade, to serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation