Win-win protein: reconciling fish protein generation and water quality management

January 2018 to December 2021
water quality
Garra fish
University of Leuven (KU Leuven)
Mekelle University (Ethiopia)
Aksum University (Ethiopia)
Research fields
Agriculture and Food Sciences

Alleviating the food security problem is a long standing priority of the national agenda in Ethiopia. Studies by the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey indicate that about 44% of children under 5 years are chronically malnourished and 10% are acutely malnourished. Diet diversification and modification is amongst the notable long term and sustainable strategies of the Ethiopian government to address malnutrition. To tackle food shortage in the region of Tigray, a number of small reservoirs have been constructed for the purpose of irrigation. Our earlier research indicated that these reservoirs are colonized by the small native fish Garra, which are not used as food by the local communities. Moreover, our results also showed that higher biomass of Garra fish causes water quality deterioration leading to blooms of toxic algae. In the proposed project we aim to achieve a win-win situation combining increased food security and increased water quality in the reservoirs. To achieve this we will investigate how we can harvest locally available Garra fish biomass from reservoirs to prepare Garra-based chicken feed that can be used to locally breed chicken for consumption.