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FAO Donates US$28,873 Worth of Fish Feed

SIERRA LEONE - In an effort to ensure that the aquaculture sub sector of the Fisheries industry in Sierra Leone realise its potential the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO has donated a large consignment of fish feed worth over US $ 28,000 to fish farmers from various parts of the country.

The programme which was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources attracted a good number of fish farmers from the North, South and Western regions of the country.

Giving her keynote address at the ceremony that was held at the Ministry of Fisheries Boat yard, Kissy Dock yard, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Jeneh Kandeh said there is currently heavy pressure on the harvesting of fisheries resources through illegal fishing practices leading to a global decline in fish stocks.

This situation, she said has prompted Government to seriously focus on aquaculture to ensure food security, job creation and export earnings. Haja Kandeh lamented that the sub sector is underdeveloped despite its immense potential and efforts in the past to stimulate its growth.

“It’s against this background and in line with President Koroma’s Agenda for Change that the Ministry in collaboration with FAO is giving free feed to fish farmers in the country” she added.

The Deputy Minster thanked FAO for providing support to fish farmers through the Technical Cooperation Programme and providing funds to develop the “Strategic Framework for Sustainable Aquaculture development in Sierra Leone.

The Acting Deputy Director of Fisheries, Alpha Bangura said they started fish farming by using rice bran and termites and have not been able to expand aquaculture over the years due to lack of technology and materials needed to compose formidable feed that helps fish to grow.

He admonished farmers to engage in activities that would ensure sustainable development of the occupation.

The donation he said was the beginning of accessing quality fish feed by farmers and hoped their ponds would grow from subsistence farming to semi commercial ponds.

Giving an overview of aquaculture in Sierra Leone, the National Coordinator, and Aquaculture Karmour Dabo said fish farming started 30 years ago with the establishment of two fish farming stations at Makali and Bo and lamented that the practice is still at the rudimentary stage even though there are 1,500 fishing ponds in the country.

He encouraged the beneficiaries to monitor the use of the feed and impart results obtained to their colleagues.

A representative of the Fish farmers Hassan Gbessay Kanu appealed for technical assistance to increase their capacities and pledged their desire to help Government in providing fish in the Market as well as employment

A representative from the FAO office in Sierra Leone, Enitor Briggs, said the donation was a small component of the organisation’s Technical Cooperation Project that catered for fish farmers in the country.

She pledged her organisation’s willingness to people who are willing to promote Fisheries and Agricultural activities in the country. Miss Briggs appealed to all to give fish farming their best, describing the practice as easiest and cheapest way getting fish.

the Fish Site Editor

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