Fish for life


Project "Ich liebe Fisch"

height=132Some fish, some maize, "nsima", and some vegetables...could be so easy to have a complete and healthy dish for Malawian folks...

Traditionally, Malawi is a fish eating nation. However, what is left on the table is mainly maize. Although Malawi is blessed with the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, overfishing resulted in the collapse of the tilapia fishery in the lake since the beginning of the 90th. Tilapia, known locally as chambo, is the country’s favorite fish. Owing to the Chambo scarcity on the market, its wholesale price has risen from 2.5 Malawian kwacha per kilo in the early 1990s to 130 Malawian kwacha per kilo in 2002. Today, the price has reached more than US$ 4.00-8.00/kg per kilo  which is hardly affordable to the most Malawian people.

Aquaculture is one of the measures to provide more Chambo for the table and the market, however, the production in the country is still small and not efficient. One of the issues is the unreliable supply of fingerlings for ongrowing farms.

Thus, one of the major tasks of the project which is being introduced at this website is to establish methods which support the stable supply of viable fingerlings to farmers which want to grow fish for food and for the market. In combination with the introduction of Aquaponics and efficient application of integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) the goal to have more fish and vegetables available as a healthy enrichment  of the popular maize dishes can become accessible.

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (i.e. raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The vegetables make use of the nutrients which are defecated from the fish. Aquaponics uses only about a tenth of the water of soil-based gardening and helps to save water which is specifically important in countries like Malawi, which relies to large extent on rain-fed agri- and aquaculture.

To tackle the above mentioned issues, a project was launched under the project call "Diversified agriculture for a balanced nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa". This research project in Malawi is supported from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the context of research cooperation for global food security with the following title:

"Improving Community Health-Nutrition Linkages through Solar Energy Based Fish and Crop Integrated Value Chains"

Welcome at our "Ich liebe Fisch"-project website

This site is dedicated to inform about the background of the project and to report about progress and results and to support the communication among the project teams in Malawi and Germany. The project focuses on research and linking of several aspects along the value chain of sustainable aquaculture of Oreochromis karongae, a favoured and high quality source of protein for human nutrition. In the context of these measures, an innovative linkage of fish and crop production in integrated aquatic systems (classical integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems, IAA and aquaponics) will allow enhanced productivity and thus an optimized nutritional and socio-economic status of smallholder farmers in rural areas of Malawi adopting these techniques.

The project will improve the reliable supply with fry of a high valued endemic fish species in combination with the introduction of aquaponics and integrated agriculture-aquaculture production methods. The results of the project will be directly used to improve the sustainable access to high valued fish protein, crops and vegetables for rural communities, specifically smallholder farmers with aquaculture facilities. Consequently, the project aims to improve nutritional condition, health and income levels of the targeted population.

Latest project activities

Fish selection. Currently, there are three tilapia species being farmed in Malawi: Oreochromis shiranu, Oreochromis karongaend Tilapiaand Tilapia rendalli....
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Kick-off meeting in Lilongwe. In July, the Kick-Off meeting for the project "Ich liebe Fisch" was successfully conducted...
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Farm visit in Malawi. In order to get some insights into Malawi farm operations including aquaculture, a model-like farm was visited....
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Site selection. Field trips were organized to Mchinji  and to Nkhotakota district  to identify and inspect possible project sites and communities...
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IAA-Training Courses conducted. Training courses for 285 fish farmers in Nkhotakotandand MchinjiistrictsDistricts conducted...
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Monitoring Activities. Following pond stocking on in May 2017 in Nkhotakota and Mchinji respectivel,, three field visits (onceerper month)) have been conducted...
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40-ft Container shipped to Lilongwe. A 40-ft containeraswas packed for the project at Fraunhofer EMB in Lübeck and shipped at the 6th of December...
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Training in fish harvesting, food processing, and marketing. The training sessions were conducted in Nkhotakota and in Mchinji...  ➦ Read more

German Team visited the Project in November/December 2017. The German team travelled to Malawi from end of Nov./Dec. 2017...         ➦ Read more

Container arrived at Bunda College. The container with the hatchery, photovoltaic facility and many other equipment finally arrived...
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Pond inspection February 2018. A trip was organized to the participating communities in the districts of Nkhotakota and Mchinji in
2018 for pond inspections...
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Solar powered Hatchery successfully assembled at Bunda College.  The German team travelled to Malawi in spring 2018 in order to set up a solar powered hatchery on the ground of the farm of the Bunda colleage...
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Two Masters students in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science were being hosted by two German research institutions.   Under a sponsored exchange visit by the project "Ich liebe Fisch"... ➦ Read more


The Malawian coordinator of the "Ich liebe Fisch" project visited the German partner. A project meeting among the Malawian and the German coordinator was organized In Germany at the EMB and GMA from 29 July to 6. August 2018 ..
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Two German project partner visited the "Ich liebe Fisch" project in Lilongwe in November 2018.  The purpose of this visit was mainly dedicated to fix some issues with the solar powered hatchery and to accomplish a training course  in molecular biology and Cryopreservation...
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The solar powered hatchery of the project "Ich liebe Fisch" made it to the cover story in the Hatcheryfeed magazine.  The volume 6, issue 4 of the Hatcheryfeed Magazine featured an article about the solar powered hatchery... ➦ Read more

"Ich liebe Fisch" project calendar 2019 available as download (pdf, ~20Mb).  Please download from this link ➦ Project Calendar 2019 

Training course on solar powered hatchery operation accomplished, 12th-14th of March 2019. A full 3-days training course on solar powered hatchery operation was accomplished at the Bunda campus farm. Fish farmer, technicians participated... ➦ Read more 

Third campaign on tilapia fingerlings and feed delivery started in March 2019. The project has started the third times to deliver fingerlings and feed to the communities which are participating in the "Ich liebe Fisch"-project...
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Aquaponic unit assembled at the Bunda Campus farm. In addition to the barrelponics system which was build and tested in the project, a larger Aquaponic unit was planned and constructed on the farm of the Bunda Campus... ➦ Read more 

Nkhotakotas farmers on educational visit. The training was organized for educational and motivational purposes to improve the farming operations of the farmers under the project...
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The "Ich liebe Fisch" project was presenting the hatchery technology at the 10th Büsumer Fischtag (07.06.2019). Title of the presentation: "Implementierung moderner Methoden zur Satzfischaufzucht in Malawi – wie geht das?"      ➦ Download the presentation (in German)

Clay pebble production as substrate for Aquaponic facilities established. Due to unavailability of industrially produced clay pebbles in Malawi, necessary as growing medium for the plants in aquaponic units, the project established a production of pebbles...
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Project extension on the pilot production of insect proteins in Malawi approved. Insect proteins, produced from maggots of the black soldier fly are a promising approach to overcome the poor fish feed quality of rural farmers...
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The administrative officer of the The Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE, Germany), Ms Ariana Bystry, has visited the "Ich liebe Fisch" Project" in Malawi  end of September 2019...
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Time to harvest fish. The grow-out periode was ending in September to October. The fingerlings which were stocked in February and March in spring 2019 were ready to be harvested...
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"Ich liebe Fisch" project calendar 2020 available as download (pdf, ~20Mb). Please download from the news site: ➦ Project Calendar 2020

Please note: this site is under construction. Copyright ©2019 Fish For Life,