Zambian Govt Plans to Boost Fish Farming19 December 2013
ZAMBIA - The Zambian government is to facilitate a national strategy on aquaculture to help reduce the country's annual deficit of 40,000 metric tonnes of fish produce.
According to The Post Online, Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary Dr David Shamulenge says the government will consider resuscitating the livestock cordon line from Shang'ombo in Western up to Ikeleng'i in North Western Provinces.
Speaking when he checked on fish farmers and toured fish ponds in Ikeleng'i, Dr Shamulenge said there was need to actively promote fish farming not only to boost production, but to create the targeted 500,000 jobs in the agricultural sector in the next few years.
He said the strategy would greatly aid mechanisms on boosting efforts by local fish farmers to offset the current deficit on the market.
Ikeleng'i Fish Farmers Association chairperson Benwa Lukama told Dr Shamulenge, who was accompanied by North Western Province acting provincial agricultural coordinator Derrick Simukanzye, that lack of fingerlings had led to the closure of nearly 500 fish ponds and affected the production of fish.
However, Dr Shamulenge assured that the government would help restock about 100 fish ponds with 25,000 fingerlings in Ikeleng'i to resuscitate the area's aqua-farming industry, but would also look at setting up a local fingerlings development centre.
And Dr Shamulenge said the cordon line would be positively used as a two-way feature to curb the movement of animals across the borders and to also allow cross-border trade to boost marketing of meat products.
He said the government was eager to strategically position Ikeleng'i as a linking point into DRC and Angola for livestock and agricultural produce saying North Western Province had lagged behind in cattle rearing in the last twenty years in comparison to Southern Province.
Dr Shamulenge assured that the government had budgeted for four livestock breeding centres in North Western Province and one will be in Ikeleng'i.
Ikeleng'i veterinary assistant Reanox Mbewe told Dr Shamulenge at Kanongesha Breeding centre that there was need to swap the Brahman cattle at the centre for Boran which he said was more adapted to the area's circumstances.
The Brahman herd of about 174 animals has drastically been decimated to just over 25 animals, between births and deaths, from 2005, largely due to diseases although the district has between 1,200 and 1,600 animals of different breeds.
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