Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
GOVERNMENT has introduced fish farming to empower people in Mutasa South with jobs in line with the Zim-Asset pillars of employment creation and eradication of poverty. Zimbabwe already boasts the largest fish farming operation in Africa and Government has been exploring ways of promoting small-scale commercial fish production in all provinces.
In an interview with The Herald, Member of Parliament for Mutasa South Cde Irene Zindi said the project had begun to gain momentum since its inception last year. She said the fish farming projects were targeting both the urban and rural areas of the constituency.
“We have been doing assessments of the number of people interested in undertaking that project and the numbers are growing. Personally, I have already done about six fish ponds at my farm and others have also been digging up their own ponds. There is a group of individuals who have also established 10 more fish ponds in the resettlement area of Mabonda and are now waiting for us to give them the fingerlings to start their projects,” she said.
Cde Zindi said she had approached the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for the fingerlings to start the projects for the individuals who have their ponds ready. She said the Mabonda area had plenty of water, an advantage for those interested in the fish farming projects.
“This is a good project for our people and if we manage to implement it well and monitor everyone’s progress, it will generate good income for the farming community as well becoming very crucial in terms of nutrition,” said Cde Zindi.
A kilogramme of fish is currently selling at between $2,50 and $3,50. Government established the Zimbabwe Fish Producers’ Association (ZFPA) in March last year to promote and develop aquaculture as a fully-fledged and vibrant sector of the livestock in- dustry. The establishment of ZFPA is part of the process to craft a National Aquaculture Policy for Zimbabwe, under a European Union-funded initiative. The association is also involved in the drafting of a National Fish Policy, which seeks to rationalise legislation and other strategic issues relating to fish farming.