Daniel Chigunwe Mash Central Correspondent
The fish farming business is being hampered by lack of knowledge and technical expertise especially among new players, acting director Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement has said.
Acting director Mr Andrew Chamisa said while the business appears lucrative, most farmers are reluctant to join the industry due to lack of knowledge on key aspects of fish farming.
“One of the key functions of the department is fisheries extension. The unit will teach farmers on how to efficiently produce fish using modern technologies.
“The fisheries research unit at Henderson Research Institute conducts research on fisheries. They also teach farmers on good practices.
“The Institute is willing to do group training at Henderson where farmers can do hands on practicals on fish farming,” said Mr Chamisa.
Mazowe fish farmer, Mr Jimmy Wilford said several projects were failing due to lack of access to knowledge which is crucial in day to day keeping of fish.
The farmer has five fish ponds with a carrying capacity of 12 000 each.
He said he has been receiving assistance from a Crop and Livestock extension officer who is also not technically exposed to fish farming.
“Most of my challenges are as a result of my limited knowledge, I want to call them teething challenges. For instance, initially I did not know that the ph level of the water has to be checked regularly.
“At one point, we recorded fatalities due to lack of oxygen and water was too dirty.
“Fish farming is technical, resulting in limited support from the community,” said Mr Wilford.