The Zambian Livestock and Fisheries Ministry in partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) have put up K220 000 to set up a fish hatchery with the capacity to produce 200 000 fingerlings in Kitwe, Copperbelt Province.
Livestock and fisheries district officer Bright Malambo said the establishment of the new hatchery will enhance fish production.
“There is potential for fish farming but the challenge is a lack of fingerlings, as we do not have enough hatcheries to produce them,” said Malambo.
He said fish production in the province is outstripped by demand owing to inadequate investment in infrastructure.
“A telling example is that Kitwe, one of the highly populated areas in the province, has one hatchery which supplies fingerlings to an estimated 140 farmers,” he said.
Nationwide, the annual fish deficit stands at 55 000 tons, with overfishing and unsustainable fishing methods leading to the decline of Zambian fish stocks. To remedy the deficit, government put specific measures in place. This includes the establishment of hatcheries to promote fish farming.
Other industry stakeholders also recommend effective regulation and active monitoring to curb unorthodox fishing methods.