The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced support for a new project to reduce poverty and increase production and incomes for more than 88,000 rural small-scale fish farmers through aquaculture.
This US$49 million project aims to move the aquaculture sector from a subsistence basis to a commercial level, underpinned by the involvement of small-scale farmers, particularly women and unemployed young people ready to embrace “aquapreneurship.”
The project will contribute to livelihood development, food security and resilience, all of which are critical for Mozambique in achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality and life below water (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 14).
Mozambique’s climatic conditions are favourable to the development of aquaculture. The country is home to a wide variety of fish, which can be farmed and thus help to address the country’s nutritional challenges, as well as providing exports for regional markets. Aquaculture development in the country has been challenging due to the lack of access to inputs such as fish feed, seeds and financial services.
The financing agreement for the Small-scale Aquaculture Development Project (PRODAPE) was signed by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of the IFAD, Programme Management Department, and Victor Gomes, Vice-Governor of the Bank of Mozambique.
Funding includes an $8.6 million loan and $34.4 million grant from IFAD. In addition, the Government of Mozambique is providing $3.1 million, with a further $2.9 million contributed by beneficiaries themselves.
Country Director for Mozambique, Robson Mutandi said, “IFAD has supported the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Mozambique since 1993. This project provides a basis for scaling up our investments. PRODAPE will address key challenges along the aquaculture value chain and capitalize on lessons learned so far in the sector to expand impact across the country.”
PRODAPE will play a crucial role in socio-economic development of the country and improved nutrition and food security. It aims to offer a cheap protein source for improved diets, and to create jobs and income-generating opportunities for rural people in 23 districts in seven provinces.
The project will also reduce the participants’ vulnerability to climate change through sustainable practices and draw lessons from the cyclone Idai and Kenneth disasters of 2019.
The project will promote a range of sustainable fish production technologies such as earthen ponds, use of solar and wind-generated energy along the cold chain, fishponds integrated with livestock and crops, cage culture in large inland water and modern aquaponics systems. It will establish and consolidate local commercial input supply networks for fish feed and fingerlings at competitive and affordable prices.
PRODAPE will support the integration of small-scale fish farmers into the aquaculture value chain, linking them to markets and business partners. It will help them to access affordable financial services through the ongoing IFAD-supported Rural Enterprise Finance Project in Mozambique.
Since 1983, IFAD has invested more than $386.47 million in 15 rural development programmes and projects in Mozambique worth a total of almost $585million. These interventions have directly benefited 2,391,789 rural families.