‘Consider creating structure in aquaculture sector’

LAKE Harvest general manager Kumbirai Makunike has called for the creation of a recognised structure in the aquaculture sector if the industry is to become more feasible and economically profitable.
African Century Foods Group which owns protein production in Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe also owns Lake Harvest located on Lake Kariba in Siavonga.
In response to a query recently, Mr Makunike said an effective framework is important in addressing challenges that fish farmers face in developing the sector.
“An operational framework is important to govern issues like the importation of fish, both live and for consumption, prevention of disease and biosecurity,” he said.
Mr Makunike also said development of skills is important for the sector; therefore, the company is engaging universities and colleges to build expertise in aquaculture.
He said the value-adding activities have helped in improving the livelihood of citizens, mostly women who buy fish on a daily basis and resell to the end consumer, thereby creating indirect employment.
Mr Makunike said to date; Lake Kariba has created 150 direct and about 1,000 indirect jobs through the distribution of fresh fish.
He said the company which has invested US$10 million since 2012 is expected to double its direct employment figures  to 300 by 2017.
“We have commenced a graduate trainee programme to train staff in aquaculture. We believe in training local people to develop a truly Zambian company.
“A major part of our expansion relies on training our employees using skills learned from our other aquaculture businesses in Uganda and Zimbabwe,” Mr Makunike said.

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