NEW: Matabeleland North receives 64 000 fingerlings 

14 Feb, 2024 - 15:02 0 Views
NEW: Matabeleland North receives 64 000 fingerlings  Matabeleland North receives 64 000 fingerlings 

The Sunday Mail

Theseus Shambare in HWANGE

MATABELELAND North province has received a total of 64 000 fingerlings under the Presidential Fisheries Scheme for free, as the Government steps up efforts to enhance food and nutrition security.

Under the programme, which commenced last month, the Government is targeting to distribute at least 300 000 tilapia (breams) fingerlings countrywide up to April.

At least 1 200 dams were certified for stocking, while all irrigation business units (IBUs), youth business units (YBUs), school business units (SBUs) and village business units (VBUs) are also benefiting.

Local communities have since received training on sustainable exploitation of the fish, and dam committees have been set up around various water bodies to cultivate a sense of ownership among community members.

Launching the programme at Kalope Dam under Dick Village in Hwange, Matabeleland North province on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Davies Marapira said aquaculture has the potential to transform livelihoods.

“As a Ministry, the thrust is to create employers rather than employees, and through such initiatives, the country will soon be in a position to unlock the potential of our agricultural sector,” he said.

Village head Mr Peter Mpala praised the Government for replenishing the water bodies that were gradually being depleted of natural resources.

“We were now fearing that the aquaculture is now going into extinction with uncontrollable fish poaching having depleted our water bodies.

“With these fingerlings having been donated, we assure the President that we will do everything in our powers to protect these water bodies for sustainable management,” said Mr Mpala.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Department (FARD) director Mr Milton Makumbe said dam stocking is now at its peak.

“We are leaving no one and no place behind. We are moving with our theme, ‘Food security and nutrition, everywhere and everyday’.

“This area has been disadvantaged by distance from hatcheries, but our plans are to establish hatcheries in every district,” said Mr Makumbe.

Of the 64 000 fingerlings, eight dams were stocked with 5 000 unsexed fingerlings each, while the Kariangwe Irrigation Scheme in Binga was stocked with the same amount.

Three nutrition gardens also got their share, while Chief Shana of Hwange district and five other individuals benefitted after having constructed their fishponds.

Zimbabwe has an annual requirement of 60 000 tonnes of fish, while current production stands at around 33 000 tonnes.

Through the Presidential Fisheries Scheme, it is expected that production will jump to 55 000 tonnes annually by next year.

X: @TheseusShambare 


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