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Fish Eco-Tourism Enterprise Launched

NAMIBIA - Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Kilus Nguvauva, officially launched the Uis Fish Farm Eco Tourism Enterprise at Uis Village last week.

The project was initiated by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture after learning about abundant water in the mountains, reports The New Era.

The water that flows from the ground in the mountains was discovered by miners in the 1980s. Thus, the idea of fish farming in Uis came about.

The project focuses on farming tilapia in cages by youth in Uis.

It is being undertaken with the assistance of a Japanese International Cooperation Agency volunteer, Mugiho Ataka, who prepared a business plan for the fish farm.

The Japanese Government gave the Uis Fish Farming Eco-Tourism Enterprise a grant of N$540 000. The grant was used for the purchase of four cages, fish feed, two boats with outboard motors, two chest freezers and other equipment necessary for the venture.

This cage farming initiative is a first of its kind in Namibia.

The enterprise is aimed at youth empowerment and to demonstrate the success of aquaculture as a practice that can produce food, provide employment and generate income.

Nguvauva said the sale of fish is expected to realise income for the youth for them to restock their cages and have a fish farming cycle that allows fish to be available all year round.

“This cage culture initiative has been established on business principles as the youth are organised in a registered trust. As such, we wish to promote entrepreneurship initiatives instead of just projects, because as we know, projects have a beginning and an end. An entrepreneurial development is something that can last long into the future,” he said.

The deputy minister revealed that the venture could grow into an eco-tourism park where, for example, tourists would pay a fee to be taken on a trip to view the cages in the lake.

Another tourism opportunity he mentioned was the opening up of a tilapia fish restaurant for tourists.

He called on the private sector to join hands with Government to grow the enterprise into a success story, adding that “the private sector should participate in youth empowerment initiatives”.

There are ten youth working on the project. They will ensure its management and provide feed for the fish to grow well.

“I want you to report to my office every time you have a harvest. Keep me informed on how many fish you manage to produce and how much income you are earning.

“I also wish to encourage you to let my office know when you come up against challenges you are unable to overcome,” he added.

Last week, the four cages were erected in the water and were seeded with 14 000 fingerlings (tilapia) in each cage. The first harvest is expected after eight months.

Stakeholders that worked together to enable this youth enterprise to take off include the Japanese Government, through the Japanese Embassy, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the Uis Village Council, local and traditional authorities, the Erongo Regional Council, and the youth and fisheries ministries.

the Fish Site Editor

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