Musoma — Former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has advised the government to promote fish farming in the Lake Zone, a move likely to contribute to the industrialisation drive.
He also advised the government ensure standard fishing gear can be easily accessible by fishermen in order to stop illegal fishing.
He was speaking here on Tuesday after touring Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF) fish farm and the Musoma Fish Processing Factory.
Mr Pinda said the fishery sector can contribute significantly to the country's economy, and this calls for deliberate measures to help it grow.
He added that too much reliance on Lake Victoria as a source of fish should stop, and this can be done by introducing more fish farms. The move, he argued, would help in conserving the environment as well.
Citing Vietnam as an example, he said the Asian nation was now the second country globally in the export of tilapia, saying Tanzania can also do the same and grow her economy through fish exports, but proper skills must be cultivated.
He said it was sad that three fish processing factories in Musoma had to close for lack of fish supply from Lake Victoria, all due to various factors including too much illegal fishing.
"Fish has huge potential towards boosting an industrial economy. There is high demand for fish both locally and internationally. Europe is a reliable market. So, if fish farming can be done according to modern standards, it can help our economy to grow," he explained.
For his part, Mara Regional Commissioner Adam Malima said the regional administration was planning to use the TPDF project as demonstration farm for those interested in learning best practices of fish farming.
He said players would also be helped to form cooperative societies so that they would pool their resources together for enhanced productivity.
Musoma Fish Processing Factory managing director Josephat Pundo said shortage of fish has been hindrance to them to meet their production goals.
He said that his factory had the capacity of processing between 25 and 30 tonnes of fish per day but the shortage has resulted to them to process only up to six tonnes per day.