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TRADERS at Chawama Market preparing fish for their customers. Picrure: COLLINS PHIRI.

Local fish supply increases

ZAMBIA’S local fish supply increased from 5,125 metric tonnes in 2004 to 22,753 metric tonnes in 2015 due to continued investments in the sector.
Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge said the country needs to produce 246,890 metric tonnes of fish by 2025 if Government’s desire for every Zambian to consume 12kilogrammes (kg) of fish annually is to be attained.
According to preliminary results of the baseline survey conducted in North-Western and Copperbelt provinces by the fisheries department, farmers produce as low as 4.1 metric tonnes of fish per hectare per year.
This is contained in a Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) weekly brief availed to the Daily Mail recently.
During a stakeholders’ meeting for the development of fingerlings and brood stock standards in Chongwe recently, Dr Shamulenge said Government will support investments that seek to boost fish growing and provide income for local people.
“It is estimated that on average, a Zambian consumes about 6.5 kg of fish annually. Further, it is projected that capture fisheries are likely to only contribute 32 percent of this requirement and hence the rest would have to be provided from aquaculture,” he said.
Meanwhile, after reviewing the standards on fingerlings and brood stock, stakeholders agreed that once gazetted, the standards should first be implemented on a voluntary basis for a period of three to five years and thereafter reviewed.
The aim of the standards is to enhance productivity and trade.
However, farmers said there is need to ensure that the implementation of standards does not add to the already high cost of production.