Nov 23, 2023
One Planet Laureate Candidate Wins a Grant To Enhance Safe and Sustainable Fish Value Chains in Malawi

James Banda, a 2021 One Planet Laureate Candidate, was recently awarded a research grant totaling AUD 28,889 by the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST). The grant aims to fund an intensive study on “Out scaling of Improved Fish Processing Technologies for Sustainable Fish Value Chain Development, Post-Harvest Loss Reduction and Bridging the Socio-economic Gap among Actors.”

The project focuses on implementing advanced technologies to bolster the fishing sector in Malawi, a crucial source of dietary protein and essential micronutrients.

The project’s key objectives include pinpointing vulnerable stakeholders within the value chain and assessing the potential of various solar tents and improved smoking kiln designs. These innovations are pivotal in sustaining protein provision and enhancing the sector’s capabilities.

James explains that improved smoker designs create longer-lasting, more nutritious fish products while using significantly less fuel. “This can increase demand and prices not only locally but also in the international markets,” James affirms.

Additionally, he reiterates that the project aims to empower female fish farmers economically, a crucial step toward bridging gender-based economic and social disparities within the value chain.

Highlighting the dominance of women in the fish post-harvest processing sector in Malawi due to entrenched gender roles, James emphasizes the numerous risks they face, including health hazards and economic setbacks due to outdated fish handling methods like open-air drying, which compromise quality through cross-contamination.

James is one of the climate research scientists who was competitively selected to participate in the One Planet Fellowship. The Fellowship seeks to build a vibrant, highly connected, and intergenerational network of African and European scientist leaders equipped to lead next-generation research focused on helping Africa’s smallholder farmers adapt to a changing climate. Since 2019, AWARD has supported 130 African scientists in developing solutions for African smallholders to cope with the changing climate across the continent.


African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Hosted by World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri. P.O Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: awardqueries@cifor-icraf.org | Tel: +254 (0) 20 722 4242