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Malawi's Aquaculture Strategy Nears Completion

The Development of Malawi's National Aquaculture Strategy modelled against the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Fisheries is expected to boost the limping aquaculture industry , experts have said.

The strategy being developed under the Strengthening the National Regional Linkages (SNRL) programme at SADC Secretariat was up for another set of validation in Lilongwe where key players interrogated the draft strategy against prevailing challenges and future programs to be carried out in the sector.

Deputy director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Faith Kazembe-Mwalubunju explained that the initiative underscores government's commitment in ensuring that regional policies are translated into local actions through various national policies, strategies and other national development blue prints such as the Malawi Growth Development Strategy and the National Transformation 2063.

She said : “we are very pleased with this process to undertake this project in Malawi, as one of the pilot countries which also include Namibia and Botswana respectively. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks forward to use fisheries as a model for other sectors to also review and align their policies and strategies with the relevant protocols and subsidiary strategies under SADC Treaty”.

She said : “we are very pleased with this process to undertake this project in Malawi, as one of the pilot countries which also include Namibia and Botswana respectively. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks forward to use fisheries as a model for other sectors to also review and align their policies and strategies with the relevant protocols and subsidiary strategies under SADC Treaty”.

Presenting the draft National Aquaculture Strategy, SADC National consultant for Malawi Sloans Chimatiro said Malawi identified a set of alignment tools, tested, validated and proved their effectiveness to support alignment of regional and national plans in the context of the SADC regional aquaculture strategy and action plan.

SLOANS Chimatiro - Consultant on SNRL project

He added that experts proposed a mechanism in form of policy brief to support or facilitate the use of the tools to guide implementation of the domesticated SADC protocol and African Union Policy Framework and Reform Strategy at country level.

“We developed indicators to monitor the progress of alignment and implementation taking into consideration a need to meet the objective that is to ensure increased and sustainable fish production and utilization by properly managing and promoting aquaculture and reducing post – harvest losses,” said Chimatiro.

During the , meeting it was also highlighted that the strategy has been aligned with the National Transformation 2063, and aims to enhance production and productivity in the aquaculture sector for increased household incomes, national economic growth and regional trade.

Malawi fisheries department has been playing a lead role under the SADC technical committee on fisheries. As such the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees the review of the aquaculture strategy useful to inform preparation for next year when Malawi President will take over the chairmanship of SADC.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines aquaculture as farming of aquatic animals, including fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants, mostly algae, using or within freshwater, sea water and inland saline water. In Malawi aquaculture production has increased from 568 tonnes in 2001 to 12, 217 tonnes in 2017 then slightly decreased to 9,014 tonnes in 2018, according to available FAO statistics

The multi - county pilot is pioneered by the SADC Secretariat with resources from the GIZ in collaboration with the German Federal Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union.

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Charles Mkoka
The author is an external correpondent for AEJ Malawi



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