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New Gov't Policy to Boost Fish Farming in Uganda

24 February 2012, at 12:00am

UGANDA - The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries will soon ratify a new policy expected to favour aquaculture and boost fish farming.

AllAfrica reports that the National Investment Policy on Aquaculture Parks in Uganda, still in its draft form, seeks to increase the value of aquaculture production from the current 90,000 tonnes valued at $180 million (about Shs400 billion) annually to at least 300,000 tonnes by 2016.

At the draft validation meeting, the acting Commissioner for Fisheries, Mr Love Wadanya, said fish farms will be mandated to develop environmentally-friendly technology for both land and water fish farming, while at the same time comply with Environmental Impact Assessments.

"Our water is still virgin and clean, while putting parks we want to ensure the water remains clean for years to come by developing environmentally-friendly aquaculture technologies, " Mr Wadanya said.

Already the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has closed a number of aquaculture farms due to non-compliance with regulations.

Nema last year closed down Mutungo Action for Development Project in Mutungo, a Kampala suburb, which had been mandated to carry out fish farming in the area for three years for violating the permit and instead constructing houses in the area.

"Our mandate is to look after fragile eco-systems such as wetlands on behalf of the public. If the offender or degrader does not comply, the wetland usage permit may be cancelled," Ms Naomi Karekaho, the Nema spokesperson, said.

The aquaculture investments are also supposed to operate within a restriction of 200 metres to the shoreline as required by law, including putting in place a water obstruction system to supply the river fed ponds.

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