Blue economy nets Sh105m for aquatic foods research
FUNDS: Kenya’s blue economy has tapped Sh105 million for research in aquatic foods from a kitty targeting African nations following a pledge made at a global conference in Norway last year.
The funds, to be provided by WorldFish, a global research organisation will help expand scientific understanding of the role of aquatic foods for planetary health and human wellbeing.
It will also support the development of a new, multi-year global research program on fish and future aquatic foods as well as the establishment of a Fish for Africa Innovation Hub.
The Hub will help accelerate national and regional efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 through cutting-edge market and policy innovations informed by scientific evidence on affordable, safe and sustainably fish and aquatic foods.
It is envisaged as a public-private partnership operating as an independent not-for-profit institution.
The funding pledges were made during the 6th annual Our Ocean conference, hosted by the government of Norway.
The conference generated 370 pledges for a clean, healthy and productive ocean.
The Our Ocean conferences offer an opportunity to announce new voluntary actions to protect the ocean, responsibly manage marine resources and promote sustainable economic growth.
The aquatic sub-sector remains largely underdeveloped in Kenya and other African nations.
“There is great promise in fish and aquatic foods to feed billions, nourish nations, and help us make the much-needed transition to healthier diets and more sustainable food systems,” said Dr Gareth Johnstone, Director General, WorldFish.
He said policy makers, investors and entrepreneurs must put fish and aquatic foods at the heart of food and nutrition security agenda.
Johnstone observed that the research funding will ensure good food policies and smart investments for a healthy and sustainable future are informed by solid scientific evidence on the critical value of fish and aquatic foods to the health of people and our planet.
Three years ago, WorldFish committed Sh5.78 billion to generating scientific research and innovations in support of sustainable development of small-scale fisheries.