WorldFish scientists in Malawi and Cameroon have won World Bank Global Development Marketplace awards for their work developing cutting-edge solutions to pressing social and economic problems in Africa.
• Daniel Jamu's Adapting Aquaculture to HIV/AIDS-affected Households project aims to make fish farming a weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Malawi.
• Randy Brummett's Sustainable Use of African Rainforest Rivers project is working to establish the sustainable aquaculture of ornamental fish around the Lower Guinean rainforest rivers in order to empower and sustain rainforest communities.
The World Bank's Global Development Marketplace awards promote innovation through early stage seed funding for innovative projects around the world.
WorldFish's Malawi and Cameroon projects are intended as replicable projects that can be repeated in other African countries.
Developed in collaboration with World Vision, Daniel Jamu's project aims to help households in Malawi combat HIV/AIDS through simple and affordable aquaculture.
"Beyond the lifetime of the project, these activities will also contribute to the development of cross-sectoral rural investment strategies aimed at strengthening the economic base of HIV/AIDS-affected populations”, says Daniel Jamu.
The project recognizes that because fish is a rich source of protein, lipids, calcium, vitamin A and micronutrients, it improves the health and well being of households and hence increases the effectiveness of anti-retroviral drugs. Fish can also be sold to provide a steady income.
The project targets poor orphans and widow-headed households struggling with the disease. It assists development of farming methods to raise fish for nutrition. These households often lack the skills, labor and capital they need for conventional aquaculture. They are also isolated and lack access to producer organizations and markets.
The 1-year project worked with 1,000 resource-poor households in Chingale, Zomba West, Malawi. It aimed to raise their fish production and consumption and income by at least 25%.
The US$20,000 award recognized the project's important contribution to supporting the needs and strengths of HIV/AIDS-stricken households.
Randy Brummett was awarded US$150,000 to implement a project to establish the sustainable aquaculture of ornamental fish in the Lower Guinean rainforest rivers of Cameroon in order to sustain and empower rainforest communities.
“Some 8 million inhabitants of the Lower Guinean rain forest depend upon river ecosystems for their livelihoods”, says Randy Brummett.
“Increasing population, poverty, and governance arrangements that falsely value biodiversity and disenfranchise local people have led to habitat destruction and over-exploitation, threatening both livelihoods and biodiversity alike”.
WorldFish studies have indicated that there are over 200 species of fish in African rivers, but these are low in abundance.
The existing US$1.8 million ornamental fish trade is dominated by middlemen using unsustainable practices, leading to average ornamental fish mortalities of 85%.
The project aims to develop community-based business models to raise and sell ornamental fish through a multistage capacity-building program. It will be established in three communities representing about 4,000-4,500 inhabitants.
It expects to develop commercial aquaculture skills for at least 150 fishers and increase returns to local communities by at least 500%.
WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.
CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.
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