Ugandan Charity Farm Project Undergoes Commercialisation19 July 2013
UGANDA - There is currently a high demand for fish in Uganda which is not being met from wild fisheries due to overfishing in the country's lakes. Paul Wasswa who runs a charity and farm project in Uganda explains how he is commercialising his tilapia ponds to make them suitable to provide fish to the local market and neighbouring countries, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
Mr Wasswa currently runs a small fish farm which provides fish for the school and orphanage charity that he and his wife Molly run at Kamuzinda in Kyannamukaaka, Masaka District.
With the expansion of the farm to supply to local markets, it is hoped that the farm will provide income for the school whilst also educating children on farm management.
The farm currently has three fish ponds which are stocked with tilapia Niloticus (Ngege) and Claris ssp (male catfish). Fry are obtained locally at the Kajjansi fish fry center and the fish ponds are supplied with water from natural water channels.
Since the fish farming project began, there has been around 5000 fish produced in each pond, with a harvest done once a year.
Up to now, the farm has supplied fish for the orphanage and local houses but, with the up scaling of the farm, new equiptment and the implementation of management, the farm will supply tilapia for the local market, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.
In order to commersialise the farm Mr Wasswa is renovating and expanding the ponds ensuring that there is a water depth of 2metres to allow fish to grow. He is also planning to invest in single sex fish to reduce the costs and problems with breeding.
Other specifications needed to make the fish farm suitable to supply to markets include:
• Ensuring the proper flow of the water which is clean and free from any kind of contamination.
• Avoiding direct flow of water from one pond to the next as it is now, for reasons of safety in case some kind of contamination happens in one of the ponds.
• Construction of proper water outlets to ensure fish waste is kept out of the pond.
• Proper record keeping practices and monitoring of fish growth.
In the future, Mr Wasswa hopes to do two harvest per year once there is more management for controlling predators and better use of fish feeds.
The profitability projections show a profit of Ush10.25 million in the first year of the investment at 95 per cent of expected harvest, even fter putting into consideration the major renovations required to get the ponds to the recommended standards.
Mr Wasswa stated that this means that our profit from the same stocking levels shall increase to Ushs 16.8million in the second year of the project.
To read more about the Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation and Farm project and how you can help please click here.