Small-scale fish farmers in Malawi need access to reliable markets

| November 16, 2015

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This week’s story from Togo features a woman who makes the transition from fishing in the ocean to raising farmed fish. With the declining number of fish caught from natural stocks in lakes and rivers, fish farming is becoming an important alternative across the world.

In Malawi and other African countries, however, there are challenges to raising fish, with unreliable markets being the most significant. As we see in our Script of the week, one aspects of this problem is that small-scale fish farmers cannot meet the demand of established and reliable markets such as supermarkets and hotels.

This script is based on interviews with fish farmers who are working with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi, in collaboration with the Kawio Foundation. It also features an interview with the director of an aquaculture program based at the university, and a researcher working with fish farmers on the ground.

If you choose to use this script as inspiration for creating your own program, you could talk to fish farmers and others, and ask the following questions:
• To what extent do farmers raise fish in your country?
• How do farmers in your country market their fish? Fresh or processed? What do consumers and farmers prefer?
• What species of fish are liked and raised by farmers?
• What role do the government and NGOs play in ensuring that farmers have markets for their fish?
• Do fish farmers sell their produce as a group or as individuals?
• What other challenges do fish farmers face in marketing their produce?

Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other key players in the local aquaculture sector, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.