SIERRA LEONE - The School of Natural Resources Management Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries management at Njala University has conducted a training workshop on sustainable integrated aquaculture – fish cum rice and poultry production.
With support from West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the three day training brought together farmers from Koinadugu, Port Loko, Kenema, Port Loko and Bo Districts; University Students fron Njala and Uviversity of Makeni; and Secondary School Pupils from Makeni City, reports SierraExpressMedia.
The training workshop was held under the implementation of the project entitled “Sustainable integrated pond-based aquaculture with rice and poultry production: Economic, social and environmental assessment”. It focuses on development of viable and sustainable integrated aquaculture systems with agriculture production (rice and poultry) for poor, rural farmers.
Farmers were given the opportunity to share their success stories, during which they say the project has earned them much profit. They named marketing facilities as their main challenge.
The Vice Chancellor and Principal of University of Makeni (UNIMAK), Reverend Father Joe Turay, said: “We need to work together to see how we can contribute to rethink our model of development.”
He added that agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy because it is sustainable.
“We need to help farmers to sustain agriculture. We must also concentrate on the new breed of aquaculture to make it sustainable so them it contributes to economic development,” Farther Turay said.
Vice Chancellor and Principal of Njala University Professor Ernest Ndomahina, pointed out the need to include fisheries in school the curriculum for the benefit of the nation. He reiterated the fact that the project has brought in integrated aquaculture practices, which is benefiting farmers. Prof. Ndomahina further said although aquaculture is not part of Sierra Leoneans’ culture, it however creates other alternatives for farmers such as poultry and piggery.
“It costs less, saves labour and earns much profit," he said, and suggested that there is need to create a market and more advertisement for the products.
Jabez Amadu of World Fish – Sierra Leone said their intervention in the aquaculture sector continues to make impact in their area of operation in Tonkolili District. “We believe that agriculture and aquaculture and major engines for growth,” he said.
TheFishSite News Desk