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Chifunabuli fishermen turn to farming

CHARLES CHISALA, Samfya
AT LEAST 50 percent of fishermen in Chifunabuli constituency in Samfya district have diversified from fishing to farming as  response to the dwindling fish stocks in the major fisheries.
Chifunabuli ward coucillor Paul Mumba said in Samfya yesterday the fishermen have realised that they can no longer earn a living from fishing because of reduced catches and have resorted to maize farming.
Mr Mumba said the farmers have been attracted by the subsidised fertiliser and seed the government has been providing to the vulnerable but viable farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
“I am happy that the fishermen are responding to advice to shift to farming and so far, at least 50 percent of them are now maize farmers,” he said.
Mr Mumba said the other 50 percent are still reluctant to adapt because fishing has been their sole source of livelihood.
He is hopeful that they will also turn to farming because they are seeing the benefits.
“Farming is transforming the lives of former fishermen who have dumped their fishing nets for hoes. We have seen a tremendous improvement in the quality of their lives,” Mr Mumba said.
He said fish stocks have drastically depleted in lakes Chifunabuli and Bangweulu as a result of destructive traditional fishing methods and an increase in population.
Mr Mumba urged the government to continue supporting those who have diversified to attract the reluctant to abandon fishing.

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