The US Agency for International Development, on behalf of the United States Government, has declared a $29 million allocation to bolster aquatic and fish farmers in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Zambia.
This investment comes alongside the announcement of a five-year extension for two research partnerships under the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Mississippi State University will lead a $15 million project for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish, while Michigan State University will spearhead a $14 million initiative for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research programs.
This was disclosed by the agency during the weekend.
The excerpt stated, “The objective of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish is to enhance the climate resilience of fisheries and other aquatic food systems, including the collection of shellfish and seaweed, in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.”
“Aquatic foods are nutritious sources of animal protein and, as one of the world’s most traded agricultural products, are also important sources of income for aquatic farmers and fishers.
“Building on years of research, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish develops and scales innovations that sustainably increase fish production while also prioritizing natural resource conservation and the needs of producers and fishers
“This new phase of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish will prioritize increasing sustainable and climate-smart practices, such as enhancing the ability of coastal wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems to store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The US government also emphasized that the extension aims to prioritize enhancing food safety and promoting inclusivity in aquatic food value chains. This way, a larger number of individuals can enjoy nutritious diets and secure livelihoods.
It added, “Through this innovative research, production of these new legume varieties will be scaled up and brought to market, increasing both the resilience of legume farmers’ livelihoods and the availability of nutritious food. The program will also expand to reach more communities in new regions of Africa and, for the first time, into Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The extension will also enable the lab to continue their important research on empowering women and young people within the legume production systems, which has already shown strong results in providing economic opportunities to rural women’s groups and has supported more than 60 students to achieve higher education degrees.”