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Friday, July 12, 2024

Fish production surges

Tichaona Kurewa

GOVERNMENT says the Agriculture Food Systems and Rural Transformation Strategy is paying off, with revelations that fish production has surged to more than 33 000 tonnes per annum from 20 000 over the past one and half years.

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

The scheme entails the establishment of villages, schools and ward fish ponds, two per site to cover up on the country’s annual fish deficit of 27 000 tonnes.

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

“Fish production in the country is expected to grow further over the next 5 years as we are currently restocking with fingerlings through various schemes countrywide. The potential is there considering that the country has more than 10 000 water bodies which we will be utilising,” said the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Davis Marapira.

To further propel the fisheries programme in the country, five fingerling production centres are being developed at strategic locations to service the entire country.

“Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Acting Director,  Mr Milton Makumbe says,  “Through the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), five fingerling production centres are currently being developed at places such as Mazowe, Matopos, Makoholi, Lupane and Chipinge. These should be functional by year-end and increase fingerling production in the country and service respective areas.”

Experts believe this programme has the potential to be a game-changer for Zimbabwe’s fisheries industry. By increasing fingerling availability and production, the programme can create jobs, boost incomes in rural communities and provide a sustainable source of protein for the nation.

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