CEEC gives out K12m to fish farmers

THE Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has provided over K12 million to the aquaculture sector in the last two years, as part of the commission’s commitment to boost fish farming in the country.
CEEC director general Likando Mukumbuta said a total of K12.7 million was disbursed to 279 farmers involved in fish farming in 10 districts from 2013 todate.
The districts which benefited from the funding include Rufunsa, Siavonga, Nchelenge, Mpulungu and Kitwe. Others are Chavuma, Mwandi, Chitambo, Mwansabombwe and Kalulushi.
“We will provide funding to five districts this year and eight districts next year and this will close the  first phase of  project,” Mr Mukumbuta said when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on agriculture chaired by Solwezi East Member of Parliament Villie Lombanya on Wednesday.
He said the development has created 2,800 jobs in the districts.
Mr Mukumbuta said fish is depleting in most rivers and lakes, hence boosting the aquaculture sector through the financing of fish farming projects will go a long way in addressing the challenge.
“Zambia imports between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes of fish from countries such as Thailand and China due to low supply locally so we need to bridge this gap by increasing the number of fish farmers in the country,” he said.
The country’s fish demand stands at 145,000 tonnes but only 85,000 tonnes of fish is produced.
He said the fish industry is a lucrative business, which needs to be fully exploited to increase household revenue and reduce poverty in many parts of the country.
Mr Mukumbuta also advised farmers to take up fishing as a commercial venture to realise profit.
He said apart from financial support, the CEEC also provides capacity building to help farmers fully understand how to grow their businesses and access markets.
Meanwhile, Kalabo central member of Parliament Chinga Miyutu called on CEEC to fund fish farmers in Kalabo district to boost the people’s income.

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