Government embarks on command fish farming

fish farming

fish farming

– Government has embarked on command  fish farming, largely targeting rural communities, to take full  advantage of the country’s abundant water resources, a Cabinet Minister  told a United Nations marine conference here on Wednesday.

Addressing a UN conference on oceans, seas and marine resources,  Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri said  fish farming, if organised properly, had the potential to uplift the  standards of living of marginalised communities, and help reduce poverty  and food insecurity.

Zimbabwe has over 10 000 medium to large size dams – a far higher density of such water bodies than most countries – and yet these were  not being fully exploited for fish farming.

But following the huge success of the country’s command agriculture  programme this year, government is extending the scheme to the fisheries  sector, with a pilot project earmarked for the newly built Tokwe-Mukosi  dam in Masvingo.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Government will seek the partnership of  both the private sector and non-governmental organisations in the  command fishing farming programme, mainly for technical and management  know how.

“My Government has embarked on a Command Fisheries Programme which will  be largely driven by rural communities, mostly women and youths at small  scale artisanal fisheries level. In order to make this programme  sustainable, the government has partnered private sector and NGOs to  provide technical expertise on breeding and management of fish stocks,” she said.

“Zimbabwe has extensive inland water resources with over 10 000 medium  to large dams. In these inland water bodies, there are over 50 000 small  scale artisanal fisheries with fishing permits. These small scale  artisanal fisheries are contributing significantly to achievement of SDG  (Sustainable Development Goals) goals – number 2 and 3 – which focus on  ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and ensuring  healthy lives and well-being for our people,” she added.

But Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said pollution of dams, lack of technology and  marine management knowledge posed a serious challenge to the development  of a robust fisheries industry in the country, and appealed for  assistance. – New Ziana

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