From the 19th – 24th of September, AquaBioTech Group’s aquaculture consultants and experts Freya Robinson and Thanasis Chantzaropoulos had the chance to visit SUA researchers in Tanzania, to explore the development of different activities done in the project and spend some time in the depths of rural Tanzania with small-scale fish farmers.

On Wednesday the 20th of September, the AquaBioTech members had the opportunity to visit the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), in Morogoro, Tanzania and meet some partners from the FoodLAND project: Prof. Susan Nchimbi-Msolla and Dr Renalda Munubi. They also met the Principal of the College of Agriculture, Dr Nyambilila Abdallah Amuri and the Coordinator of Research and Publications, Prof. Japhet Kashaigili and discussed the cooperation so far, the importance of the project for the region of Morogoro and the country of Tanzania in general, as well as possible future partnerships. They were then guided through the facilities of the Department of Aquaculture, in order to see all the work that is carried out there, including the activities of the FoodLAND project. This tour included both the facilities of the ‘Blue Economy Research and Training Centre’ and the department where they produce their own fish feed from locally available ingredients with machinery funded by the FoodLAND project, in two forms: pellets/marsh.

The following day, SUA facilitated visits to the small-scale fish farms involved in the project, identified as food hubs. They were able to travel to several rural villages of the Kilombero district, including farms in Kiberege, Kisawasawa, Mang’Ula B and Mkamba. There, they inspected the ponds that are being used for the FoodLAND Africa project, and discussed with the farmers about their training, the problems they are facing, solutions and the progress so far. It was very important to see the conditions in the district, the needs of the farmers, and the difficulties they faced. In Ifakara, they were also accepted by NDG. Lena Martin Nkaya, the local Governor of the Kilombero District in the Morogoro Region. Ms Nkaya showed great interest in the Project and the reason for the visit, and she expressed her wish, for us, to provide as much help as possible to the farmers of her district. 

FoodLAND project involves the development of simple solutions in crop and fish farming and food processing, which have been tested, implemented, and validated together with local smallholder farmers and local food processors, in order to strengthen nutrition-responsive agro-biodiversity. Local species of fish and crops are in the spotlight of this project, as well as the use of locally available natural ingredients to replace factory components in the practice of these new systems. AquaBioTech is the leader of the Aquaculture Working Group providing its expertise in aquaculture and support to our partners in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

“All of us at AquaBioTech would like to give our gratitude to SUA and the small-scale farmers in Tanzania for their warm welcoming, their support and assistance during the week -stated AquaBioTech representatives-. We hope that we will continue to collaborate and be next to them, with whatever they are doing presently or in the future”. Similarly, SUA partners would like “to thank Freya Robinson and Thanasis Chantzaropoulos for their visit where they inspected fish ponds of farmers, talked to fish farmers under FoodLAND project and explored the challenges which they are facing and the progress of their fish farming”.