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Fish Industry gets K22 Billion Boost

ZAMBIA - The government will spend over K22 billion to promote the fish industry in Zambia this year, an aquaculture expert has said.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock aquaculture deputy director Martin Chilala said the production of fish in Zambia has remained constant over the years, hence the need for Government to enhance fish and aquaculture farming, reports DailyMail

Mr Chilala said over K22 billion will be spent in various aquaculture programmes aimed at boosting the fish industry.

He said the country only has the capacity to produce 70,000 tonnes of fish from capital fisheries (lakes and rivers) and fish farms, adding that national demand for fish is currently estimated at 120 tonnes. There is a deficit in terms of fish supply, this has resulted in a lot of imports because of high demand from the local market, he said.

He attributed the deficit of fish to high population growth which has resulted in a number of people engaging in illegal methods of fishing.

He said Government has embarked on a restocking programme of other rivers which will later be expanded to other rivers after the Mweru Wantipa to increase fish production.

He said Government has established community management structures which will engage communities living around lakes and rivers to manage fish through conservation farming to help increase the number of fish from capital fisheries.

We will prepare a plan for each area as a way to put up measures on how to supervise the management of fish and encourage aquaculture, he said.

He said Zambias environment is rich for aquaculture farming and that Government has taken advantage by encouraging the establishment of ponds and cages to provide necessary resources to sustain the programme. He said Government will pump in K1 billion to establish fish hatcheries and produce fish fingerings and increase on fish population.

Last year we spent about K600 million to promote aquaculture, this year we intend to spend close to K1 billion to be used in the establishment of fish fingerings, he said.

Lucy Towers

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