10 April 2019

Uganda: Adopt Urban Fish Farming, Experts Say

Photo: Wambi Michael/Deutsche welle
Perching birds are a common sight on the floating fish cages of the SON Fish Farm around Bugungu, on the Lake Victoria shoreline.

To boost fish stocks in the city, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Walimi Fish Cooperative Society (WAFICOS) have partnered to promote urban fish farming.

The partnership comes on the coat-tails of the erection of a KCCA-funded agricultural resources centre in Kyanja Kawempe division -largely to promote urban farming and create jobs.

Speaking at the commissioning of a live fish sales outlet at Wandegeya market recently, Dr Esau Galukande, the KCCA deputy director for production and marketing, said the authority's partnership with WAFICOS aims to increase fish production in the city.

"We would like to provide people with skills and make them aware that fish can be grown in every home; what one needs to have is a water tank, water source and we give you the technical advice," Galukande.

Dr Gladys Bwanika, WAFICOS chairperson, said aquaculture remains the only reliable means to bridge the growing gap between fish demand and supply. She said, however, that deliberate efforts must be made to ensure that existing bottlenecks, which impede development of the aquaculture sector are addressed by all responsible stakeholders.

"WAFICOS is a leading fish farmers' organization in Uganda for the past ten years and we have organized a symposium and trade fair to provide a platform for information sharing, laying strategic directions, sharing success stories as well as networking for the common market," she said.

WAFICOS organized the 11th annual fish farmers symposium and trade fair on March 28 to 30, at the Aquaculture Research and Development Centre in Kajjansi under the theme 'Synchronizing, bulking, and value addition towards profitable and sustainable marketing of farmed fish.'

The symposium attracted both local and international participation of fish farmers and varied players across the value chain including producer organizations, input suppliers, marketers, governmental organizations, development partners, researchers and students.

According to Dr Owori Wadunde, the general secretary WAFICOS, they plan to mobilize farmers in groups and help them produce fish.

"The nature of our farmers here in Uganda is that they are scattered and they grow fish and harvest it at different times and this makes marketing for their product difficult," he said.

So, to close the common market gap, WAFICOS and KCCA have mobilized and set up a live fish sale outlet at Wandegeya market, Wadunde explained.

"We also want to show the difference between farmed fish and wild fish because farmed fish can be sold at its best (fresh) while wild fish may not, due to the distance from the market, he said.

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