Mzuzu University (Mzuni), in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, has constructed a solar fish dryer at Tukombo in Nkhata Bay to promote value addition.
The solar tent saves trees and reduces the amount of fish lost due to poor preservation methods.
According to Mzuni project manager Petros Chigwechokha, the initiative seeks to equip fishing communities with skills to sustainably utilise natural resources for increased value addition and wealth creation.
Fish smoking has led to massive loss of trees in areas surrounding fishing villages.
“The project is designed to reduce deforestation, promote value addition and reduce post-harvest losses using solar-tent driers,” Chigwechokha said.
He said about K7 million has been used to construct the solar tent dryer and fuel-efficient smoking kilns fired by briquettes made of rice husks.
Fish processed in a solar-tent dryer is of higher quality compared to traditional processing methods, said Chigwechokha.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) is bankrolling the technologies which highlight the need for eco-friendly, affordable fish processing methods that will add value and increase economic returns in fishing communities.