Luapula Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Chanda Kasolo has said the region’s efforts to process and export fish were being frustrated by the use of wrong fishing methods allegedly practiced by fishermen.
Mr. Kasolo said it was the intention of government to have a vibrant fish industry established in Luapula province but the local fishermen were allegedly using mosquito nets to catch fish including the fingerlings.
Mr. Kasolo said it was in this regard that government wants to restock fish as Luapula province has abundant water with a number of perennial streams to support the restocking exercise in the lakes, rivers and swamps the region is endowed with.
He was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Mansa yesterday.
“Government efforts of restocking in the fish-hub Luapula province are being frustrated by fishermen who are using mosquito nets to catch fish. We have got plans to establish a fish industry here in Mansa so that eventually, Zambia can become a major supplier of fish in Africa and beyond,” he explained.
Mr. Kasolo said government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, would engage the fishermen by capacity building them into fish farmers so that it realizes its desired goal.
He said Chinese, South African and Saudi Arabian investors have shown willingness to invest in Luapula province by setting up a fish processing plant and an abattoir.
Mr. Kasolo said he would continue lobbying investors to open up the province thereby creating jobs for the local people once these plants were established.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kasolo has said he would next month install a board to run the Chishinga Ranch in Kawambwa district.
The assets of the Chishinga ranch were looted during the privatisation time in the 1990s but PF government is determined to revamp it so that it contributes to the country’s economy.
Mr. Kasolo said government would restock the 44,000 hectares ranch with over 100 animals comprising cattle, goats and sheep including poultry.
He said Luapula province was a natural disease-free zone that could be used as a reservoir for restocking livestock.
“Luapula has no serious livestock diseases like the foot and mouth disease and the deadly contagious bovine pleura pneumonia that wipes out thousands of cattle in Southern and Western provinces. Government has noted that Luapula province is a natural disease-free zone that could be used as a reservoir for restocking livestock and become a power-house in Zambia,” Mr. Kasolo said.