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Aquaculture Certificate Spawns Great Hopes

Education & academia

ZIMBABWE - The currently running FreshwaterAquaculture CertificateCourses have spawned greathopes for the AquacultureIndustry in Zimbabwe in amanner that has never beenwitnessed before.

The course, a direct result of a strong, vibrant Public-Private Partnership between the University of Zimbabwe’s Biological Sciences Department and Aquaculture Zimbabwe has so far seen over 50 prospective fish farmers graduating with certificates of competence that will render them employable and also capable of employing fellow citizens. The two week running courses have proved effective in the learning of both soft and hard skills of freshwater aquaculture. The students are taken on an intensive roller coaster of learning that culminates in a hands-on field trip in Kariba.

The course kick-started in early 2010 as the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and will continue to run until the modules have been adopted into the mainstream curriculum of the Vocational Training Centres across the country.

The course boasts of the following modules as its core content: Introduction to Freshwater Aquaculture, Fish Biology, Hatchery Management, Fish Health and Biosecurity, Fish Nutrition and Feed Management, Water Quality, IAA, Fish Farm Best Practices, Fish Marketing/ Markets and Linkages, Post Harvest Technologies, Fish Business Management Skills and a Field Trip to Kariba.

All the courses that have been held so far recorded an over 90 per cent success rate with participants strongly recommending the continuation of the courses and even requesting a higher level qualification for the same. Also encouraging is the demographics of the participating candidates. Of the 53 candidates trained so far, 18 are women, which indicates a serious empowerment paradigm in the whole programme.

All the total participants trained so far fall within the 16—35 age limit, which happens to be the most youthful and productive age group. Many thanks go to the unwavering support of the following partners; Entire AZ staff, AZ patron, Dr Stuart Hargreaves, UZ, INFOSA, Lake Harvest, Kariba Bream Farm for the success of this programme.