What are you passionate about? – “Fish farming!”
Geraldine Matolla is a scientist from Kenya. Normally she works as a lecturer at the Department of Fisheries and aquatic sciences, University of Eldoret. In her research she focuses on aquaculture, with emphasis on fish health. But at the moment she is visiting Sweden and AgriFoSe2030 got the opportunity to have a quick chat with Geraldine.
What will be doing during your visit in Sweden?
– I have already got the opportunity to attend the AGRI4D conference at Uppsala in late September. I am currently enjoying my visit at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, but will also travel to Gothenburg to visit the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at Gothenburg University for an exchange programme on policy development in aquaculture.
– Later in October I will attend the course on “Introduction in theory of change and systematic review” from October 23 -27, 2017, located at SLU in Uppsala. And in November there is an Agroforestry conference in SLU Alnarp which will be interesting. So, many engagements and lots of interactions!
What are your expectations of what the programme will be working on? What do you think makes the programme important, and why and to whom does it matter?
– This exchange is expected to build collaborations and skills towards research and policy development in aquaculture for food security through conference attendances and visits to researchers in Swedish universities. It is important to me as I will be able to write scientific publications for policy in aquaculture. It is also relevant to University of Eldorets research policy. The outputs from this exchange will serve as guidelines for other researchers, extension workers, policy workers and the research community in general back home.
– I will be also working with outputs from the ‘success story writeshop’ on agriculture in multifunctional land use systems in Ethiopia in September. This involves 6 researchers from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Kenya. It is expected that the six stories will lead to a book publication to highlight the role of multifunctional systems in food production. This will be important for other researchers, planners and policy-makers.
– Lastly, I am working on a pilot project, which we hope will improve existing aquaponics technologies for fish production. The project will focus on issues around fish feeds, diseases and water quality while addressing the gender issues in aquaculture in Kenya. This study is expected to contribute to food security in Kenya while also improving the social status of rural communities. It is also in line with the national goals for aquaculture in Kenya as well as with University of Eldorets research mandate.
Tell us one thing that you are passionate about!
– Two words: Fish farming! This is because it is one of the most versatile farming systems. It can range from very simple to extremely sophisticated systems; making it suitable for all depending on how much one can afford to invest. With fish farming, women and children are involved and hence can earn their living while providing themselves with nutritious yet inexpensive diets. While many agricultural systems are seasonal, fish farming can be planned to provide food throughout the year as long as water is available. I love to see the smile on the fish farmers’ faces after a good harvest of fish. And of course, I love fish!
Interview by Anneli Sundin, AgriFoSe2030 Communication and Engagement.