EAST AFRICA – The Norwegian Agency of Development Cooperation (NORAD) has committed US$5 million to increase the incomes and build the resilience of small aquaculture farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The contribution from NORAD will finance the Advancing Resilient and Nutrition-sensitive Smallholder Aquaculture (ARNSA) Project implemented by IFAD and its government partners.
With the aim to support approximately 3,000 smallholders and make increased quantity and quality fish products available to at least 100,000 people, the project will pilot and scale-up climate resilient and nutrition-focused aquaculture technologies and approaches.
It will, in particular, improve access to quality and affordable farm inputs such as seeds and feed, and to market opportunities especially for women and youth through innovation and value creation.
It will also strengthen farmers’ technical skills and extension services and address post-harvest losses.
”This generous contribution of Norway underscores its credentials as a global leader in sustainable fisheries management and is further proof of the country’s relentless determination to free the world from hunger and poverty.
”The sustainable development of the aquaculture sector holds significant potential to address malnutrition and poverty worldwide. Norway’s support will help thousands of small aquaculture farmers build better lives for their families and produce the healthy foods their communities need,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD.
The project will focus mainly on inland aquaculture, except in Tanzania where attention will be given also to seaweed value chains.
The support from NORAD contributes to IFAD’s increasing attention to aquaculture in Sub-Sahara Africa, which now includes related investments in Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana.
Today, small-scale aquaculture farmers provide over 80 percent of the global acquaculture production.
Worldwide roughly 20 million people engage in full or part-time aquaculture, many of whom struggle to maintain reasonable livelihoods.
With a growing demand for fish products, in particular from Africa and Asia, the sector holds a strong potential for growth, better incomes for the producers and employment opportunities especially for women.
In addition, as a source of high-quality macro and micronutrients, fish and aquatic foods are irreplaceable in combating malnutrition and alleviating nutritional deficiencies.
Globally, 22% of children below the age of five (149 million) are stunted (too short for their age) and 30% of girls and women aged 15-49 years (571 million) suffer from anaemia.
As one of the world’s leading fishing and aquaculture nations, Norway has made the establishment of secure and sustainable fisheries and ecosystems in partner countries a priority through its Fish for Development programme.
It aims to provide a coordinated and effective response to increasing food demand, rising poverty and the urgency to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.