By Martin Akende, in Siavonga
Buyantanshi Women, Youth and Kamimbi Multi-purpose Cooperatives have hailed President Edgar Lungu’s Presidential Fish Farming project which is aimed at empowering and uplifting small scale fish farmers.
The two Siavonga based cooperatives which are first beneficiaries of the presidential fish farming initiative are today harvesting the first cycle of fish.
In November last year, President Lungu commissioned the Presidential Fish Farming Project to the Buyantanshi and Kamimbi Women Fish Farmers in Siavonga, Southern Province.
The President’s donation to the two cooperatives included a new boat and engine worth K80,000, fish feed to cover the entire 6 months production cycle, 6 Cages of 6 x 6 diameter suitable for commercial productions.
Other materials donated by the Head of State to the Cooperatives included a feeding deck, PPEs, Oxygen, Temperature, pH meter and a digital scale and other accessories.
One of the beneficiaries from Kamimbi Multi-purpose cooperative Baron Chimpeleme has thanked President Lungu for prioritising projects aimed at alleviating poverty for the poor.
Meanwhile, another beneficiary from Buyantanshi cooperative Agness Ngosa encouraged the president to continue with desire to empower poor especially Women.
With Zambia previously referred to as a landlocked country that boasts of abundant water bodies, many would expect the southern country to have sufficient fish stocks enough to meet the available demand on the local market and export surplus to readily available markets like in Congo.
But this is not the case for Zambia as in the last few years, fish national deficit stood at over hovers around 80,000 metric tonnes.
However, in the last 5 years, Government has placed high premium investment in the aquaculture sector and slowly the picture is changing due to the massive investments pushed in the sector.
Instead of depending on the traditional way of fishing, through a conducive environment, the sector has taken advantage to venture into aquaculture farming by creating cages and floating these cages on the Kariba dam.
And in order to ensure no one is left behind, president Edgar Lungu has encouraged small scale farmers to venture into fishing farming not just for consumption but as a business to enhance income at household level.
It is for this reason that President Lungu donated funds in access of 2 million to two cooperatives namely Buyantashi and Kamimbi in Siavonga district, Southern province.
A local company Vintage Services Limited was tasked to manage the setting up of six fish cages on behalf of the two cooperatives.
Six months later the two cooperatives are smiling as they are expected to harvest the first cycle of fish from the fish empowerment program.