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The Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) is a Feed the Future Initiative funded by USAID/Ghana and implemented by the University of Rhode Island, SNV and other local implementing partners.

The fish smoking sector in Ghana is highly dependent on fuelwood as a source of energy, and in a 2014 study, SNV found that there were over 120,000 fish smoking stoves in near-constant use along Ghana’s coastline and the Volta Lake basin. Where there are limited forest wood resources, mangrove is used and the extent and rate of mangrove forest depletion outstrips the slow rate of regeneration, leading to the degradation of these forest systems. Between 2005 and 2010, Ghana’s deforestation rate was estimated at 2.2% per annum, the sixth highest deforestation rate globally for that period.

Contributing to this high rate of deforestation is the widespread use of inefficient fish smoking technologies, which also expose women to heat and smoke. The WHO estimates that harmful cookstove smoke is the fifth leading cause of death in developing countries. Adoption of the improved smoker technology is a major component of this approach. Several partners are involved in the value chain components of the Project with SNV leading the technology R&D, and scale-up and sustainability strategy development that is driven by the private sector.

The Ahotor or Comfort stove, which has high efficiency and low toxic 'PAH' production in fish, was developed by SNV and partners. The project is providing a 30% incentive for the first 150 early adopters of this improved stove. The strategy provides options for beneficiaries to acquire the oven by accessing small loans from designated Rural Banks or acquiring the oven directly from Project-approved stove construction companies. To date, nine stove construction companies have been identified and trained and will work with the Project to ensure quality control and continued product development.

Finally the project is looking to develop a market for healthy fish, where fish processors can realize an increased margin for a better quality product. If this can be achieved the market ‘pull’ will lead to a much greater adoption of healthy fish practices and the uptake of larger numbers of low-PAH, energy efficient stoves.

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