Basa Fish to Boost Haiti's Food Supply
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2009) — In its latest push to bring sustainable food projects to a hungry Haiti, Food For The Poor is introducing protein-rich basa fish to the country for the first time. The 3,000 fingerlings just stocked in the ponds have the potential to increase nutrition in protein-starved diets within six months, and ultimately produce three to four million fish a year.
The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) has long experience in the development of fish farms, especially in growing tilapia, and has partnered with Food For The Poor to establish basa farms in the poverty-stricken, food deficient countries served by the nonprofit.
“We’re praying the basa fish will really help us in the feeding centers, and to ultimately help the people feed themselves,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “We are grateful to the Taiwan ICDF for offering their expertise, because it will make a world of difference for the poor we serve.”
Basa, also known as Pangasius, is the newest and one of the most popular aquaculture food fish available worldwide. The fish is native to Southeast Asia, where they have long been an important part of the diet and economy. Basa fish live in fresh water and can easily reach 35 pounds at maturity. In a contained environment, such as the ponds, the fish grow quickly.
Because the basa is the first of its species to be introduced to Haiti, Food For The Poor sought and received permission from the government of Haiti. Once that was granted, the fingerlings were flown in and placed in six ponds in an impoverished community with 80 percent unemployment just outside of Port-Au-Prince. Considering the dire malnourishment situation, Haiti must find immediate and alternative ways to enhance its diminishing food supply and increase nutrition. The introduction of a new source of protein will be an immediate benefit.
Feeding centers, orphanages, elderly homes and other outreach centers will receive continuous harvest donations throughout the year. Fish also will be sold to local markets at an affordable price.
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information please visit, FoodForThePoor.org.
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