By MARTIN AKENDE
ZAMBIA is poised to produce 162, 000 tonnes of fish by 2025 to meet the domestic demand and ensure every Zambian consume at least 12 kilograms per annum, President Edgar Lungu has revealed.
And the president has directed the minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Professor Nkandu Luo to urgently present to cabinet the memorandum on the establishment of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has lashed out at one opposition leader who says when he forms government he will combine the ministries of Fisheries and the ministry of Agriculture, saying the move was tried and never produced results.
Mr Lungu said initiatives like the Presidential Fish Farming Project gives him comfort that the country will be self-sufficient in fish production and become a net exporter.
He was speaking when he launched the harvesting of the first fish cycle of the Buyantanshi and Kamimbi Multi-purpose Cooperatives of the Presidential Fish Farming Initiative in Siavonga.
President Lungu said the aquaculture has recorded growth in the last few years because of the investment in the sector.
In 2020, President Lungu empowered the two cooperatives by donating six cages with stocking capacity of 18, 000 fingerlings donated by Yalelo Fisheries in each cage.
And speaking earlier Prof Luo said her ministry had identified cage fish farming as another avenue to grow the aquaculture sub sector.
Prof Luo also disclosed that the country currently has 976 cages in various water bodies across the country.
And Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale said a good foundation for development has been laid in the province to make the country attain the middle income status.
Meanwhile, Atlasmara country director James Koni one of the companies that supported the project said the bank remains committed to support agriculture initiatives to create a base for stable food supply.
Yalelo chairman Fisho Mwale thanked President Lungu for rolling out the Presidential Fish farming project to help and turnaround lives of poor people.