Sustainable Aquaculture: Boosting African Nutrition and Economy

From 6th to 8th February, 2024, the INNOECOFOOD Project is set to be launched, marking a significant milestone in addressing global challenges related to poor farming practices, overfishing, and the excessive chemicals in agriculture. With a focus on the Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) partnership, this Innovation Action aims to establish innovative production/business ECOHUBS and enhance local aquaculture cage farms in six diverse African countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (East Africa), Namibia, Ghana, and Egypt.

It is earmarked to support the EU-AU markets and trade by training rural farmers, youth, and women to produce and process nutritious aquaculture fish, spirulina, and insect value chains. The project emphasizes a farm-to-fork strategy, utilizing climate-smart sustainable local resources and innovatively designed ECOHUBs adhering to food safety standards.

This approach integrates renewable energy, reduced water consumption, and circular systems to align with the European Green Deal aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030 and become net zero by 2050 that in a long-term is providing solutions to address rising food costs, and availability issues influenced by climate change.

By addressing issues such as hunger, malnutrition, climate change, employment, and rural livelihood improvement, INNOECOFOOD aligns with the UN's sustainable development goals. It challenges the conventional focus on rapid economic urban development, which has often resulted in adverse health and environmental impacts, especially in Africa due to access to rich protein foods as from insects.

To some people using insects as food is just a conspiracy which the project will be unlocking and share lifechanging information coupled with innovations about these products as fish feeds and human food.

Alignment with Strategic Agendas:

The ambition of this initiative aligns seamlessly with the new EU-Africa strategy 2021 and the AU Agenda 2063 priority on sustainable economies. With Scientific advances, AI, and digital technologies, coupled with socio-cultural, economic drivers, and local knowledge emphasis is placed on shared prosperity through value addition in agricultural products, growth of agri-business and industries, human capital development, skills revolution in technology, science, and innovation, as well as gender development, youth empowerment, and employment generation for both youth and women. The INNOECOFOOD Project represents a crucial step towards revolutionizing sustainable aquaculture and nutrition in Africa. FSPN Africa will be working with other consortium members to ensure the information and activities within the project do not remain in silo and is fully disseminated through various channels including digital tools. Outcomes of this project will be vital for influencing policy landscape on aquaculture farming, research and food supply chains as well consumer acceptability.

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