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Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture improves welfare, nutrition of HIV/AIDS-affected households in Malawi

2011 September 2

An IAA fish farm in Malawi

Integrating fish farming may have potential to increase farm productivity up to six fold in Malawi, according to researchers, and can also help households affected by HIV/AIDS. The potential lies in the synergies created in Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture (IAA) systems. Results show an increase of more than 100 percent in household incomes and food security, including households affected by HIV and AIDS.

Recognizing this potential, different institutions have been promoting IAAs in Malawi, including World Vision Malawi, the World Fish Center, Concern Universal, Project Concern International C-Fish, the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS), Bunda College of Agriculture, and others.

World Fish Center has gone a step ahead, working with households affected by HIV and AIDS to design IAA systems specifically suited to help them access fish as a source of income and nutrition. These efforts demonstrate that developing customized technologies is a critical component in setting an all-inclusive strategy for economic growth among HIV/AIDS-affected families in Malawi. The results from their interventions indicate that IAAs can dramatically improve the ability of families to cope with the effects of HIV/AIDS by doubling household incomes and increasing fish and vegetable consumption by about 150 percent among rural communities.

The upcoming Lilongwe conference seeks to elucidate such evidence and draw lessons on how the integration synergies can be enhanced to respond to the nutrition and health needs of the people of Malawi.

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