A US$91 million African Development Bank (AfDB) loan acquired by the Zambian government will help boost aquaculture development in Luapula Province.
Fisheries and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge said the bulk of the money will be used to help smallholder farmers increase production of fingerlings and fish feed.
“Luapula is one of the regions with high potential for aquaculture development due to the abundance of water, and financing smallholder farmers will help increase their production,” said Shamulenga.
Luapula has three of the five major fishing bodies – Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu and Lake Mweru-wa-Ntipa.
Shamulenga said some of the money will be used to establish five aqua parks.
“This forms part of the remedies government is putting in place to address the serious depletion of stock in the province,” he said.
He said the failure to adhere to the annual fish ban and illegal fishing activities remain a huge problem in addressing the fish deficit the province is facing.
Nationwide the annual fish deficit stands at 55 000 tons. This triggered concerns among stakeholders for government to introduce stringent monitoring and control measures.