In Malawi, about 43.6% of total dietary protein consumed is from fish. However, rapid growth in population has led to harvest stagnation from Lake Malawi and other water bodies, leading to a decline in per capita consumption of fish from 14 to about 5.6 kg/ person/year despite an increase in aquaculture production from an estimated 200 tonnes in 1995 to more than 3000 tonnes in 2010. Information and data available indicate that 10–25 percent of the total land area in Malawi is suitable for pond aquaculture. However there are questions as regards to sustainability and negative environmental impacts of pond aquaculture. Commercial cage aquaculture would be an alternative however Malawian Government has taken a precautionary approach to prevent the aquaculture activities from causing damage to the aquatic environment. But this requires exceptional control, suitable legal structures, strong institutions with good institutional capacity and the adoption of adaptive management. Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture systems e.g. aquaponic systems, are deemed sustainable for their ability to utilize land at optimum level. Aquaponic systems have the potential to increase farm productivity up to six fold. However, aquaponic systems seem to be more complex and expensive due to their technicality. Full potential of aquaponics in Malawi has therefore, not been explored due to lack of information on associated costs, benefits and efficiencies. Thus the major goal of this research was to design a portable aquaponic system made from locally available materials and assess it technically and economically as a potential alternative source of livelihood.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series
Agris Subject Categories: