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About 80% of landed fresh water and marine fish in Ghana is smoked and processors many of them women, suffer from smoke related diseases, heat burns and many other negative impacts using traditional smoking ovens.

Also, anemia among women of reproductive age remains an intractable public health problem in many low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where more than one-third of women of reproductive age are anemic.

SNV has recently started to implement the Invisible Fishers research project. This Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded project is being implemented in partnership with the University of Michigan - School of Public Health, the University of Ghana, Viamo and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). The full name of the project is: 'The invisible fishers: Empowering and safeguarding women in fisheries value chains in Ghana to reduce anemia'.

SNV's main role is to introduce improved fish smoking technology and practices to women processors aimed both at improving earnings and reducing harmful occupational exposures associated with fish smoking. The intervention builds on SNV's experience from the USAID funded-Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the core funded Improved Fish Smoking and Mangrove Conservation Project (IFS).

Smoked fish value chains in Ghana have clear potential to influence anemia risk among women fish smokers via multiple, potentially interconnected and contradictory mechanisms. More broadly, these value chains also have significant potential to affect the nutrition and health status of coastal and lake communities and of consumers across the country whose diets are profoundly shaped by these value chains. We expect that the findings of this research will significantly contribute to understanding how best to design, implement, and evaluate interventions into fisheries and other Animal Sourced food value chains in Ghana and across Sub-Saharan Africa to address anemia and related nutrition and health concerns.

Key facts



Develop a multi-sectoral anemia behavior change intervention


Strengthen women fish processors’ engagement with markets


Introduce improved fish smoking technology and practices for women processors

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