MALAWI – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a US$13.2 million financing package from the African Development Fund for a fisheries and aquaculture development project in Malawi for sustainable fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management.
The project estimated to cost US$14.57 million, comprises of an ADF loan of US$8.98 million and a grant of US$4.21 million. The Malawi government will contribute the remaining US$1.38 million.
The Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture Development and Watershed Management project is set to provide infrastructure to increase fisheries productivity and market access.
In addition to that it is expected to contribute to nutritious diets, boost employment along the fish value chain and build climate resilience along major watersheds.
It is expected to directly benefit 20,000 residents around the surrounding lakeshore and inland areas, as well as 250,000 fish processors, vendors, retailers and interns, many of whom are youth and women along the value chain.
The project interventions will cover 11 lakeshore and three non-lakeshore districts, including the entire basins of Lake Malawi and Chilwa, part of the Shire River system and selected upland areas using an ecosystem approach.
Other expected benefits of the project include sustained income from fisheries, increased recovery of Chambo stocks and higher incomes from value addition (processing, storage and related marketing activities).
The increased access to fish protein consumption at the household level will improve nutrition in the region.
“The Bank is committed to supporting our regional member countries to make use of their living fisheries resources. This is crucial for building healthy diets and local consumption, facilitating regional trade and improving on the quality of life – especially for youth and women along the fish value chain,” said the Bank’s Blue Economy Flagship Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed Khan.
The approved resources will promote Malawi’s national development as outlined in its Malawi National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, its Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) and Malawi’s Vision 2020 reports APO-Group.
According to the published 2019 Annual Economic Report, earnings of the Malawi fisheries sector in 2018 rose by 11.23% contributed by rising fish volumes and prices.
Fish landings had a beach or landed value of K196.69 billion (US$273.18 million), with a volume of 221 849.08 metric tonnes (MT) compared to the K173.04 billion (US$235.74 million) realised the previous year from the sale of 199 454 MT.
Per capita fish consumption, reached 12.63 kg per person per year, from 12.47 kg per person per year in 2017, which is closer to the recommended 13 to 15 kg of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During the period under review, fish exports generated K226.058 million (US$311,000) from the sale of 49, 780 live fish, which is slightly higher that the K167.172 million (US$230,000) made from the sale of 36, 367 live fish the year before.