By John Chihana, MANA
Fisheries and Aquaculture development has the potential to boost the country’s economy especially if the youth are involved in such activities.
The remarks were made Tuesday in Chitipa by Senior Deputy Director in the Department of Fisheries, Maurice Makuwira in Chitipa when he was presenting Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (SFAD) Project to members of District Executive Committee (DEC).
He said the project would aim at boosting the current annual Trapia (Chambo) Fish production from 3,600 to 10,000 metric tonnes.
“If achieved, this project will contribute towards the improvement of the country’s economy, currently fisheries contribute 4 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Makuwira explained.
He said the project would directly benefit fish farmers and traders while it would indirectly benefit the youth and women in the country.
“Through this project, youths will also be mobilized into groups which will later become cooperatives after being trained and provided with equipment as a startup for fish farming business,” the Deputy Director said.
Chitipa District Youth Officer, Jessie Mwansambo said was optimistic that the project would enhance income generating opportunities to the youth.
“Most of the youth are poor and unemployed, so this project will create self-employment since they form the majority of the country’s population. It was my plea that they be considered as direct beneficiaries of the project,” she said.
Director for Planning and Development (DPD) for Chitipa District Council, Macmillan Magomero said the project could succeed and achieve its objectives if people in the district own the initiative.
The project is being funded by African Development Bank (ADB) to the tune of US$ 14.58 million will run from 2020 to 2025 and will be implemented in all lakeshore districts and some upland districts across the country.