Aquaculture for all

Rwandas Fish Farming Industry Projects Massive Growth

Economics Politics +2 more

RWANDA - The Kigembe Fish Hatchery, inaugurated early this year, has up to present produced more than 1.2 million fish fingerlings, with a promise of an increase in production in the near future, writes Mathew Rwahigi.

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The over Rwf 55 million project, which was undertaken by the Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Support Project (PAIGELAC), is an innovative project that has rolled out a bid to increase fish production and profitability of fisheries in Rwanda.

The PAIGELAC project coordinator Dr Rutaganira Wilson, in an exclusive interview with Hope Magazine said that the hatchery is set to supply the country with the required amount of fingerlings.

By September we expect the hatchery to be running at full potential, capable of hatching more than 10 million fingerlings per year; a value that is much bigger than the required number of Rwandas industry, which is estimated at around five to eight million fingerlings annually, Dr Wilson said.

As stated by the Coordinator, this means that there will be an excess of fingerlings to offer other markets where demand for fish is high, for instance Burundi.

Dr Wilson noted that the creation of the hatchery was a result of the need to boost the number of fish products available in Rwanda and to improve the quality of fish on the market. Breeding the fish from the hatchery means that there is close to a 90 per cent chance of the survival for all eggs, a difference of 30 per cent if the eggs are to be bred naturally, the coordinator said.

According to Dr Wilson, breeding eggs from the hatchery ensures that super males (a breed of male fish that influence all the fish hatched to be males) are used in the process. Male fish are better at putting on weight and thus winning the fish farmer a better market price and a larger profitability margin. This science of super males that we are employing is natural and biological and without adverse effects, which makes it healthy, unlike the hormone methods that are sometimes used elsewhere, he said.

Producing fingerlings in Rwanda is bound to help lower the cost of fish, thus improving the profitability of the fisheries and aquaculture industry.

As said by Rutaganira, every fingerling costs Rwf 120, a good source of revenue for the country if more were hatched and exported, as the market is still abundant even in the neighboring countries.

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