Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Lackson Kazabu has expressed concern over the depleting fish stocks in Luapula Province.
Mr. Kazabu however said his ministry would try to cushion the problem through the promotion of aquaculture using the known various methods of fish farming such as fish ponds, penning and fish caging.
The deputy minister was speaking in Nchelenge District when he met officers from his ministry at the Fisheries Training Centre (FTC).
He noted that fish ponds were much easier to run as they can be managed at household level.
Mr. Kazabu said he was aware that the people of Luapula Province predominantly depend on fish hence his ministry will support people that want to venture in fish farming.
He said government was willing to will assist individuals and groups wishing to venture in fish farming with fingerlings at no cost as long as they can feed them.
“We need to do a pilot project where people willing to venture in fish farming be given fingerlings free of charge and offer them expert advice by fisheries officials on specifications of the fish farming method they want to use,” he stated.
And Director of Fisheries Services Patrick Ngalande has announced that government is in the process of revamping the fish farm at Mwenda in Chipili District in Luapula Province.
Mr. Ngalande said currently the fisheries oficers in consultation with his office are in the process of engaging manpower for the rehabilitation of the ponds and the furrows.
He said once the rehabilitation works are completed the fish farm would be used to grow fingerlings in order to enhance accessibility by fish farmers.
He observed that Zambia has enough feed for fish compared to other countries adding that aquaculture growth rate is at 150 percent per annum.
Mr. Ngalande explained that his department had worked on a business plan and was distributed to potential fish farmers in an effort to commercialize aquaculture.