Researchers from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) have emphasized on the need to intensify nutrition and breeding of fish species for the country to satisfy demand on local and domestic markets.
It has transpired that there is high demand on the international market for fish species such as Chambo, Mlamba and Usipa. This follows the signing of the Malabo Declaration.
In the declaration, Malawi and other countries committed to more than triple intra-regional commodity trade by 2025.
The research, which was commissioned by WorldFish to understand the level of fish trade between Malawi and its peers in the region, found that intra-regional fish trade remained informal, with low volumes traded by artisanal and small medium enterprises, most of which are headed by women.
“The number of fish in the country’s lakes and rivers is declining but, we are developing modern ways of fish breeding to boost production and nutrition value,” George Kanyama Phiri, a professor at Luanar, said.
Country Director of WorldFish, Sloans Chimatiro, said that most of the women that engage in intra-regional fish trade are harassed and are not provided with structured markets, when they go to sell in countries such as South Africa.
“The challenges are many. First, we find that those that are involved in fish trade do not understand the procedures such as, where to get permit, where to do fish inspection, how to maintain quality and standards for exportation, where to pay and so on.