Health Ex­cel­lence pro­motes fish pro­duc­tion

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Du­misani Nsingo Se­nior Farm­ing Re­porter

A BU­L­AWAYO-BASED agri­cul­ture con­sul­tancy firm, Health Ex­cel­lence held a two-day fish pro­duc­tion work­shop in Bu­l­awayo last week in a bid to pro­mote the breed­ing of aquatic an­i­mals at house­hold level for rev­enue gen­er­a­tion.

Health Ex­cel­lence pro­grammes co-or­di­na­tor Mr Din­gaan Ndlovu said res­i­dents stand a chance of gen­er­at­ing in­come as well as im­prov­ing their house­hold food se­cu­rity upon em­bark­ing on back­yard fish pro­duc­tion.

“We want to pro­mote fish as a com­mod­ity so that peo­ple can re­alise that they can make a liv­ing and money out of it. Also we are be­ing ac­ti­vated and mo­ti­vated by the Govern­ment, which has launched the Com­mand Fish­eries Pro­gramme and its re­ally go­ing out sow­ing fin­ger­lings-the small fish in dams so that these mul­ti­ply and com­mu­ni­ties can also prop­a­gate from there,” said Mr Ndlovu.

The pro­gramme, which is spear­headed by the Zim­babwe Parks and Wildlife Man­age­ment Author­ity (ZimParks), has al­ready been launched in Masvingo, Man­i­ca­land, Mata­bele­land North and South, Mashona­land East, Cen­tral and West.

Mr Ndlovu said city and town dwellers could em­bark on thriv­ing fish pro­duc­tion pro­ject through turn­ing their dis­used swim­ming pools into ponds or buy­ing por­ta­ble ponds and plac­ing them within their yards.

“There are a lot of dis­used swim­ming pools here in the City’s low den­sity sub­urbs. We are say­ing in­stead of let­ting them lie re­dun­dant like that. Why not re-fill them with wa­ter and they (res­i­dence) learn that fish can ac­tu­ally be a pro­duc­tive sec­tor by con­vert­ing those swim­ming pools into fish ponds.

“You can be pro­duc­ing for sell­ing ma­ture fish for food or you can ac­tu­ally iden­tify to breed fin­ger­lings and sell to the com­mu­nity as seed. So where the space is small we en­cour­age peo­ple to buy por­ta­ble ponds. They are very small you can even put them in your ve­randa and do fish…so fish can be done ev­ery­where,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He said the work­shop sought to pro­mote the breed­ing of fish fin­ger­lings to avert the pre­vail­ing short­age in the city.

“In Bu­l­awayo we don’t have sources of fin­ger­lings. Peo­ple are buy­ing from Kariba some are buy­ing from Masvingo and some as far as Harare. So what we are say­ing af­ter com­plet­ing this train­ing we are go­ing to iden­tify some in­di­vid­u­als here in Bu­l­awayo who will pro­duce those fin­ger­lings . . .,” said Mr Ndlovu.

A res­i­dent, Mr Gary Stad­don from North End sub­urb who turned his swim­ming pool into a fish pond late last year is now op­er­at­ing a thriv­ing fish and fish fin­ger­lings pro­ject.

“My fo­cus has changed from grow­ing fish in the pool to breed­ing, now I am breed­ing fin­ger­lings in­side a small room with four fish tanks and I want to get to a level of pro­duc­ing 8 000 to 10 000 fin­ger­lings per week but in the pool the fish are grow­ing up. I think there is a very big mar­ket and the po­ten­tial is there for one to grow, even if you have a small pool at the back of your house…in my pool I can har­vest a tonne (of fish) ev­ery six months,” said Mr Stad­don.

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