Project "Ich liebe Fisch"
Some fish, some maize, "nsima", and some vegetables...could be so easy to have a complete and healthy dish for Malawian folks...
Traditionally, Malawi is a fish eating nation. However, what is left on the table is mainly maize. Although Malawi is blessed with the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, overfishing resulted in the collapse of the tilapia fishery in the lake since the beginning of the 90th. Tilapia, known locally as chambo, is the country’s favorite fish. Owing to the Chambo scarcity on the market, its wholesale price has risen from 2.5 Malawian kwacha per kilo in the early 1990s to 130 Malawian kwacha per kilo in 2002. Today, the price has reached more than US$ 4.00-8.00/kg per kilo which is hardly affordable to the most Malawian people.
Aquaculture is one of the measures to provide more Chambo for the table and the market, however, the production in the country is still small and not efficient. One of the issues is the unreliable supply of fingerlings for ongrowing farms.
Thus, one of the major tasks of the project which is being introduced at this website is to establish methods which support the stable supply of viable fingerlings to farmers which want to grow fish for food and for the market. In combination with the introduction of Aquaponics and efficient application of integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) the goal to have more fish and vegetables available as a healthy enrichment of the popular maize dishes can become accessible.
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (i.e. raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The vegetables make use of the nutrients which are defecated from the fish. Aquaponics uses only about a tenth of the water of soil-based gardening and helps to save water which is specifically important in countries like Malawi, which relies to large extent on rain-fed agri- and aquaculture.
To tackle the above mentioned issues, a project was launched under the project call "Diversified agriculture for a balanced nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa". This research project in Malawi is supported from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the context of research cooperation for global food security with the following title:
"Improving Community Health-Nutrition Linkages through Solar Energy Based Fish and Crop Integrated Value Chains"
Welcome at our "Ich liebe Fisch"-project website
This site is dedicated to inform about the background of the project and to report about progress and results and to support the communication among the project teams in Malawi and Germany. The project focuses on research and linking of several aspects along the value chain of sustainable aquaculture of Oreochromis karongae, a favoured and high quality source of protein for human nutrition. In the context of these measures, an innovative linkage of fish and crop production in integrated aquatic systems (classical integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems, IAA and aquaponics) will allow enhanced productivity and thus an optimized nutritional and socio-economic status of smallholder farmers in rural areas of Malawi adopting these techniques.
The project will improve the reliable supply with fry of a high valued endemic fish species in combination with the introduction of aquaponics and integrated agriculture-aquaculture production methods. The results of the project will be directly used to improve the sustainable access to high valued fish protein, crops and vegetables for rural communities, specifically smallholder farmers with aquaculture facilities. Consequently, the project aims to improve nutritional condition, health and income levels of the targeted population.