Fish farmers in Likoma can heave a sigh of relief following the introduction of a Sustainable Fisheries Aquaculture Development and Watershed Management project which seeks to reduce post-harvest-fish losses, among others.
In an interview, Northern Region zone project manager Davis Mbamba said fishers in the country lose about 40 percent of their catch; hence, the project will train farmers on how they can prevent such losses.
“The losses translate into millions of kwacha as they lack skills on how they can preserve their fish,” he said.
Mbamba also said the project will focus on watershed management by ensuring that catchment areas are well managed to prevent siltation in fish breeding areas.
“The land in Likoma is not suitable for pond-culture. The project will dwell much on cage-culture so that farmers benefit more,” he said.
Likoma Community Savings and Investment Promotion cooperative member Golden Chikhanda commended the project, saying it will improve people’s economic well-being.
He said fishers lack skills ranging from business management to fish preservation due to unavailability of cold-rooms and capacity in financial management.
The five-year project seeks to improve marketing, promote value addition such as packaging and labelling and capacity building of cooperatives.
The $14 million (about K10 billion) Malawi Government project is being funded by the African Development Bank and will work with fishers through cooperatives.