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‘Formulate aquaculture policy’

KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
A Research institute says Government needs to come up with a strict regulatory framework to boost the aquaculture sector in Zambia.
The Indaba Agricultural Policy and Research Institute (IAPRI) said there is urgent need to formulate a policy to guide the development of the aquaculture and fisheries sector in the country.
IAPRI said some of the challenges facing the aquaculture sector include conflicting legal framework, low productivity, lack of fish storage facilities, and weak institutional arrangements.
This is contained in an IAPRI’s Advisory Note for Government dubbed, “Opportunities and Challenges in Enhancing Agricultural Development in Zambia.”
“The fisheries sector is facing numerous challenges that must be addressed if the sector is to benefit the people and the economy of Zambia. Governmnet must ensure there is consultation with the fisheries sector experts to address some of the major challenges such as weak institutional arrangements, and regulatory frameworks, as well as weak enforcement of fisheries regulations,” the note reads.
IAPRI observes that the current institutional set up and funding structure does not suit aquaculture development, hence the need to split the Fisheries Department into two to enable one department focus on capture fisheries, and the other on aquaculture.
The think tank said operationalisation of the aquaculture and fisheries fund will increase fish production from aquaculture, especially by small and medium-scale players, hence contributing to a reduction in high rural poverty levels.

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