Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Uganda: Kabale Woman Finds Gold in Fish Breeding

UGANDA - While in many societies it considered a man's job, to Allen Mansa, developing fish fries for farmers in western Uganda has nothing to do with gender. Mansa, who has become a household name in Kabale district, is the sole supplier of fish fries to fish farmers in the vast highland region.

She develops the fries using the skills she acquired from Kajjansi Aquaculture Research Station. In 2003, she was selected by the National Agricultural Advisory Services to undergo training in fish fry development. At her fry centre in Muhinga parish, Bukinda sub-county in Kabale, a stone-throw from the Mbarara-Kabale highway, are two fish ponds and a small structure containing other small ponds where most of the fries are developed.

Mansa uses the parent fish, which she keeps in her ponds to develop the fries. She says unlike the tilapia which easily breeds in the ponds, only leaving her with the task of picking the fries, the catfish and the mirror cap breed in the smaller cemented ponds she has constructed at her breeding centre. She says the fries are ready for sale in two months.

The farmer whose name has become synonymous with fish farming breeds between 50,000 and 70,000 fries every time. She has made a fortune from her aquaculture business, from which she earns between sh7m and sh9m per harvest.

"I develop fries basing on the number of tenders or orders I get," she reveals. Mansa says she gets most of her tenders from the district and the local farmers groups in Kabale and these often range from sh5m to sh9m per order.

However, amidst Mansa's lucrative business are a number of challenges. Kabale being a cold highland region has made fish breeding a difficult activity.

"Kabale can be very cold and because of the low temperatures, many of the fries I develop die before they mature," she says.

"Recently, I bred 70,000 fries but only harvested 46,500. The rest died due to low temperatures," she adds.