Fish experts have described fish farming as crucial in revamping the economy of the country if proper farming methodologies and skills can be applied.
Country Director for Ripple Africa, Force Ngwira, made the remarks when the organisation visited some of its fish breeding sites in the Nkhata-Bay District to monitor how farmers are managing the ponds which are used for the multiplication and recovery of endangered species.
Ngwira said investing in fish farming can create more jobs for many Malawians thereby promoting financial independence which is key in achieving the country’s aspirations as enshrined in Malawi 2063.
Ngwira added that fish conservation is crucial as far as economic development is concerned. It is for this reason that Ripple Africa is engaging community members to provide tight security in breeding sites as one way of increasing the multiplication of fish.
The initiative is also supporting aquaculture centres to have different varieties of fish through the provision of Chambo fingerlings and other fish species from the lake.
Ngwira said part of their mission is to increase the availability of big fish on the market by sensitising farmers to utilise legal fishing gear.
“Using recommended fishing gears helps farmers to catch big fish and this gives them a chance of making more money on the market,” said Ngwira.
Commenting on the matter, Station Manager for Mzuzu Aquaculture Centre, David Mbamba, hailed Ripple Africa for the initiative saying it is helping the department of fisheries to reduce the cost of searching for fingerlings of fish like Chambo.
Mbamba said they managed to realise over K18 million after harvesting fish from one pond.
One of the beneficiaries of fish farming Laness Kaunda said she manages to get K10 million annually from her ponds and has further urged other Malawians to venture into fish farming.
“I rely on fish farming to pay school fees for my children but also to have basic resources that I need in my house,” she said.
Reports from the department of fisheries indicate that with a production of over 170 thousand metric tonnes, fish continues to be the main source of animal protein in the country contributing to over 70 percent of the dietary animal protein intake of Malawians and 40 percent of the total protein supply.
Reported by Jackson Sichali, MBC Online Services.