By Rumbidzayi Zinyuke
At least 20 ponds are lying idle in Mutasa South as villagers await delivery of fingerlings under Government’s fish farming initiative.
Government in 2016 embarked on a nationwide drive to encourage small-scale fish farming, as a way of empowering communities and promoting aquaculture as a business.
Since then, Mutasa South has rolled out projects which have seen villagers forming groups to dig fish ponds, which the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate was supposed to supply with fingerlings.
Member of Parliament for Mutasa South Cde Irene Zindi told The Herald that while the project had gained momentum last year, only one dam in the area had received fingerlings from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate this year.
“We are still waiting for the Ministry of Environment to provide us with more.
“So far we received fingerlings for one dam in Magarasadza Village in Ward 23, but we still have 20 more dams that need fingerlings,” she said.
She said the projects were targeting both the urban and rural areas of the constituency.
“We did assessments of the number of people interested in undertaking that project and the numbers are growing and people have been digging their ponds,” said Cde Zindi.
She said the Mabonda area, which already has thriving projects had plenty of water, an advantage for those interested in fish farming.
“This is a good project for our people and if we manage to implement it well and monitor everyone’s progress, it will generate good income for the farming community as well become crucial in terms of nutrition,” said Cde Zindi.
Zimbabwe has the largest fish farming operation in Africa and Government has been exploring ways of promoting small-scale commercial fish production in all provinces.
In March 2016, Government established the Zimbabwe Fish Producers’ Association (ZFPA) to promote and develop aquaculture as a fully-fledged and vibrant sector of the livestock industry.
The establishment of ZFPA is part of the process of crafting the National Aquaculture Policy, under a European Union-funded initiative.