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Sustainable Aquaculture Being Developed in Malawi

20 March 2013

MALAWI - A Scottish business and research based consortium, bringing together the Scotland Malawi Business Group, the University of Stirling and Microloan Foundation, has been awarded a grant of £337,000 over three years from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund to develop small scale commercial aquaculture in Malawi.

Working with local private sector partners and a carefully selected number of existing fish farmers, Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi will develop the technical and value chain aspects of fish production, focusing on fish farmers located in close proximity to the country’s business capital Blantyre.

The principal conclusion of the International Development Fund (2012-2013) supported scoping study, ‘Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi (AEM)’ was that, while ‘rural aquaculture’ has a role to play in sustaining household food security in Malawi, it is not commercially viable.

To contribute effectively to development, aquaculture in Malawi requires manufactured formulated fish feed, a regular supply of quality young fish, access to a continuous year round supply of water, and access to markets and finance. However, given the relatively high transaction and opportunity costs involved in satisfying these requirements, the development of small-scale commercial aquaculture necessitates ponds being located within or in close proximity to peri-urban environments.

This new project aims to create and foster a supportive business environment in which an optimally located network of 60 small-scale fish farmers can operate on a commercial basis. The benefits deriving from the project will include employment opportunities throughout the production and supply chains and an increased supply of better value, high quality protein into Blantyre and its peri-urban markets, while directly and indirectly supporting the livelihoods of some of the poorer but entrepreneurial individuals in Malawi. 

George Finlayson of the Scotland Malawi Business Group, a former British High Commissioner to Malawi, said: “This funding has the potential to make a significant contribution to improving nutrition and food security in periurban areas of Malawi."

"The demand for fish in both rural and urban areas is booming, but largely unmet. We look forward to bringing a business, microfinance and markets-based approach to producing more fish, whilst also developing the communication and networking skills of key entrepreneurial fish farmers.”

The grant announcement came during the visit to Scotland by Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi. Marking the bicentenary of Scottish missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone, funding for aid projects in Malawi, focussing on healthcare and economic growth, were announced.

Making the announcement First Minister Alex Salmond, confirmed that 15 projects in Malawi, run by Scottish–based organisations, have been allocated £4,920,106 of funding over three years from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund. Mr Salmond made the announcement in Blantyre in Lanarkshire where David Livingstone was born.

More information on the projects can be found here.

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