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IDRC-supported research wins a Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Award

July 27, 2023
Research supported by Cultivate Africa’s Future has received a regional award for its innovative approaches to promoting the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Uganda. The NutriFish project was honoured during the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Awards held in Kampala June 30.
A woman picks up fish on drying rack
NutriFish project
Fish-processing groups in Uganda are using innovations, such as drying racks, to enhance the quality of their products.

NutriFish works with the fish sector and its associated value chains to address the food security needs of vulnerable groups in Uganda who cannot afford expensive commercial fish, but who are in critical need of high-quality nutritious diets. Research has sought ways to reduce losses in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, increase access to animal protein and micronutrient-rich foods, and enhance the products’ quality through improved post-harvest and processing technologies.  

Organized by the Sustainable Fisheries Initiative, the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture awards provide an annual opportunity to recognize and celebrate some of East Africa’s brightest innovators in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. This year’s ceremony was officiated by Hellen Adoa, the Ugandan Minister of State for Fisheries. It comprised 15 awards, including Fishery Innovations, which NutriFish won. Uganda’s National Fisheries Resources Research Institute, a NutriFish partner, received the Government Excellence Award. 

Since its launch in April 2019, NutriFish has developed innovative ways to increase production and consumption of Mukene, a silver fish found in abundance in Ugandan lakes. For instance, by incorporating Mukene into five different products — baby food, sauce, maize meal, snacks and seasoning — consumers have been provided with nutritious and affordable food options that contain much-needed protein, iron, zinc and folic acid. 

In view of the importance of improved data collection for helping sustain the local fish sector, the NutriFish team also developed and introduced a mobile application called electronic Catch Assessment Survey. The app is available for free and gathers real-time information related to catch quantity, type of fishing nets used and how much money fishers expect to earn. It has not only enhanced data quality and quantity, but also drastically reduced the cost of data collection. 

Other approaches adopted by NutriFish include training “champions” to promote high fish-quality standards, and supporting women in establishing group savings accounts. 

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Cultivate Africa's Future, which supports research to achieve long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa, is jointly funded by IDRC and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.  

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