I recently met with representatives of an organization that operates in Malawi, southern Africa. They have apparently been considering aquaculture for some time, wanting to include it in their initiatives to support orphans and the Christian community, in general, but they simply didn't know where to start looking for support and expertise. It was a similar situation in Mozambique before I learned of the project in Xai-Xai. The project leaders there had held a long-time interest in use of aquaculture for food production and skills training.
Fish farming makes sense: Fish can be relatively easy to raise, you only have to harvest exactly what you need and leave the rest swimming, and ponds can be multi-purpose--irrigation, fertilizing, livestock watering, fish raising. Where aquaculture is appropriate in terms of suitable land and water availability, aquaculture is a right thing to do. I am intrigued by the affinity that many people seem to have for growing fish. The unfortunate part is the disconnect between these eager bodies and the professionals willing to help bring it out of the concept stage.
And I'm just a connection. I have recently been in contact with Mr. Petros Chigwechokha of Bunda College in Malawi, as well as two aquaculture professionals, Mr. Mutambue Shango and Mr. Simon Mutala in the DRC. I am hoping that these men, and other men and women like them, will be the knowledge links into how best to support and develop aquaculture in their own countries, in partnership with the organizations that wish to carry out aquaculture.
By the way, my planned support visit to DR Congo in May is fully funded!