Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Principal Secretary (PS) Gray Nyandule Phiri says the launched K13.3 billion fisheries project will replenish fish population and offer jobs to Malawians.
He made the remarks on Monday at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi during the launch of a five-year African Development Bank (AfDB) funded sustainable fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management (SFAD WM) project.
Phiri said the project will bring remarkable change in the fisheries sector because it will employ viable measures that will see the production of fish being increased.
He said: “Since the fish will be in abundance on our markets, it will improve our protein intake, thereby, saving Malawians from the plague of nutritional implications.”
“Furthermore, the project will focus on infrastructure development in selected areas along the lakeshore and will enhance institutional capacity at various levels.”
Asked why similar projects have failed to yield positive results despite launching them with a pomp previously, the PS blamed it on the behaviour of business as usual, saying handling issues ‘casually and leisurely’ impeded the success of such projects.
“But don’t expect any laxity or whatsoever similar attitude in this project because we have involved key stakeholders who are fish experts from World Fish Centre in Zambia, the country’s academicians, among others, to reverse the trend,” he said.
In his remarks, AfDB chief fisheries officer and task manager for the SFAD MW project, Ahmed Khan repeated the bank’s commitment to see the project flourishing to contribute towards poverty reduction.
“This project falls within the bank’s Ten-Year-Strategy and High 5s; specifically Feed Africa, which focuses on four key goals: poverty eradication, malnutrition, competitive value chains, and top export commodities,” he said.
Khan called for extra collaborative efforts from stakeholders to ensure the project’s success.