NAADS begins distribution of fish materials worth UGX 1.7BN to farmers across the country
NAADS has begun the distribution of fish fingerings and fish feeds to farmers across the country as one of the initiatives to boost fish production.
Since 2015, NAADS has supported the fish sector by promoting aquaculture (rearing fish in ponds) to provide an alternative source of fish in the country. The intervention follows an increase in Uganda’s population and high upshot of fish processing plants for export which have left the natural stocks dwindled to alarming levels.
In the current Financial Year 2021/22, Government allocated sh.1.7 billion to NAADS to procure fish fingerings and fish feeds for distribution to farmers as one of the initiatives to promote fish production, nutrition and also curb illegal fishing on Uganda’s lakes.
Over three million fish fingerings and 108,084 kilograms of fish feeds are to be distributed to farmers through the local governments in over 100 districts that have prioritize aquaculture. 2,180,000 fingerings are for tilapia, 40,000 for mirror cap while 990,000 are for cat fish.
Dr. Thomas Nsemeriirwe, the NAADS Livestock Development Officer says distribution of the fish materials has started with Kabarole district where Government is implementing a cage fish farming project on the crater lakes under the Presidential Initiative on Agro Industrialization for local economic development (AGRILED) in the Rwenzori Region.
“We have distributed 90,000 fish fingerings and 10,000 kilograms of fish feeds to the farmers engaged in cage fish farming on the crater lakes in Kabarole district. We completed the installation of the cages and now farmers have received the fingerings and feeds to start production”, explains Dr. Nsemeriirwe.
Aquaculture presents the major alternative to natural water bodies in as far as fish production is concerned. Uganda produces up to 15,000 tons of fish from aquaculture, including production from small-scale fish farmers, emerging commercial fish farmers and stocked community water reservoirs and minor lakes. There are an estimated 20,000 ponds throughout the country with an average surface area of 500 m² per fish pond.
Through NAADS, government provides inputs for support under the aquaculture enterprise. The support is in form of fish fingerings and start-up fish feeds.