The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $13.2 million (about K9.6 billion) funds for a fisheries and aquaculture development project which will directly benefit 20,000 Malawians around the lakeshore and inland areas.
This is according to the Bank’s Blue Economy Flagship Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed Khan, who said the Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture Development, and Watershed Management project will provide infrastructure for increased fisheries productivity and market access.
Dr Khan who was speaking in Lilongwe said board approval for the project was granted on 2 October, 2019 and the project is expected to contribute to nutritious diets, boost employment along the fish value chain and build climate resilience along major watersheds.
He said the project 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 coordinator further said that 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.
“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.
He added that the expected benefits include sustained income from fisheries, increased recovery of Chambo stocks which is likely to increase access to fish protein consumption at the household level improving nutrition in theregion.
It is further expected that the approved resources will promote Malawi’s national development as outlined in Malawi National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, its Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) and Malawi’s Vision 2020.
This whole project interventions will only see the Malawi government contributing a sum $1.38 million.