A new tilapia aquaculture project is being developed in Zambia’s Mpulungu District, Northern Province, to work with smallholder fish farmers on improving their management practices and promoting the use of commercial feeds.
The project, initiated by the global feed company Skretting and supported by FISH, Misamfu Aquaculture Research Station—to which WorldFish provides technical support—and the Zambian Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, involves 45 farmers, 44 percent of whom are women.
“An important contribution these stakeholders can make to smallholder commercial aquaculture is to increase farmers’ adoption of improved technologies, such as better quality fingerlings and commercial feeds, leading to significant gains in productivity and profitability and, ultimately, improved livelihoods,” said Steven Cole, Senior Scientist in the WorldFish Zambia office.
Enabling small-scale farmers to run productive and profitable fish farms is vital to ensure the aquaculture value chain is more socially sustainable and the growth in the sector is more inclusive.
“The motivated farmers indicated their excitement and willingness to take this opportunity that would help solve their major long-standing constraints to fish production,” added Mary Lundeba, WorldFish Aquaculture Consultant, at the launch event in late July.
Throughout August, farmers prepared their ponds for fingerling stocking in September.
The project builds on FISH’s ongoing collaboration with Skretting in Egypt. With a factory located 100 kilometers northeast of Cairo, Skretting Egypt has been a market leader in extruded fish feed (mainly tilapia feed) since 2010. A joint research project on tilapia nutrition and raw feed material evaluation aims to maximize the benefits from these resources and the environmental elements supporting them, with the primary goal of supporting the aquaculture industry in Egypt.