Fish production up to 33 000t

Precious Manomano

Herald Reporter

Fish production has surged from 20 000 tonnes to more than 33 000 tonnes over the past 18 months as the Government is boosting production and enabling better retains.

Fish farming is one of the fastest growing sectors and can be produced more efficiently and cost effectively.

It is based both on using dams and establishing fish ponds in each village as the borehole is drilled.

Dams, ranging from small farm dams up to major national projects were originally built for power, irrigation or urban water supplies, but will now be used more fully by introducing fish farming.

The Presidential Fisheries Scheme is aimed at improving access to affordable protein at household level, while enabling commerce from the sale of surplus production.

Government will establish business units at youth hubs, village nutrition gardens and irrigation schemes all with a fish production component, to promote a business approach to agriculture and leave no one and no place behind.

About 180 million fingerlings are set to be distributed riding on the Presidential Borehole Scheme targeting to sink 35 000 boreholes countrywide.

Village business hubs will each have their pair of fish ponds.

Government is pulling out all stops to ensure that fish farming grows to contribute effectively to the national agenda of boosting food and nutrition security and income generation in line with the fisheries and aquaculture development strategy.

The introduction of community gardens that accommodate two fish ponds and the dams being built across the country have opened many opportunities that have the potential to turn commercial and generate income for the participating households.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister Davis Marapira said fish production is expected to continuously grow considering that there are more water bodies in the country.

“Fish production in the country is expected to grow further over the next five years,

“Currently, we are restocking with fingerlings through schemes countrywide. We have a high probability of doing better in fish farming considering that the country has more than 10 000 water bodies so people should take advantage of the water bodies and use them wisely,” he said.

To further propel the fisheries programme in the country, five fingerling production centres to service the entire country and are being developed at Mazowe, Matobo, Makoholi, Lupane and Chipinge.

Department of fisheries and aquatic resources acting director Milton Makumbe said these centres should be functional by year-end and increase fingerling production in the country and service their assigned areas.

The Presidential Fisheries Scheme also includes the large number of small “farm dams” which are common and the plan is that 50 000 fingerlings will be released into each of these 1 200 dams by next year.

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