Harnessing dietary nutrients of underutilised fish and fish-based products in Uganda (CultiAF 2)
Nutritional deficiencies are widespread in rural and urban poor communities of Uganda, particularly among women of reproductive age and children under five years. Fisheries and aquaculture offer opportunities to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, alleviate poverty, and generate economic growth. However, fish has become less available to Ugandans due to declining stocks of large fish species, coupled with high exports and post-harvest losses. Handling and processing needs to be improved in order to develop nutritious, affordable, and safe fish-based products that are accessible to vulnerable groups.
This project, referred to as NutriFish, will work alongside fish production and its associated value chains to address the nutritional needs of vulnerable groups who cannot afford expensive commercial fish but who are in critical need of high-quality nutritious diets. Through improved post-harvest and processing technologies, the research will find ways to reduce losses and increase product quality, safety, and acceptability and improve distribution among populations living far from bodies of water.
Considering that women are often excluded from profitable ventures, this project will deliberately ensure that product development, marketing, and entrepreneurship strategies include women in order to enhance their economic capacities as well as their acceptance and adoption of fish and its by-products within their diets.
An estimated 560,000 consumers from low-income segments of Uganda’s population are expected to access affordable and nutritious fish-based products by the end of this three-year project. By increasing consumption of higher quality protein from fish and improving dietary diversity, the project will contribute to reducing the incidence of micronutrient deficiencies, in particular among women of reproductive age and children under five years. It will also create diversified income opportunities for approximately 200 people (50% women) through enterprise development in fishing, fish processing, and marketing.
This project is funded by the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF), a joint program of IDRC and the Australian International Food Security Research Centre of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. CultiAF supports research to achieve long-term food security in eastern and southern Africa.