Small-scale fish farming ponds in Africa

Photo  credit: IPS

Fish farming has fast turned into a way for many Africans to beat poverty and hunger. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

Fish Farming Now a Big Hit in Africa

In many African towns and cities, thriving fish farmers have converted their swimming pools and backyards into small-scale fish farming ponds, triggering their proverbial rise from rags to riches

Hillary Thompson, aged 62, throws some grains of left-over rice from his last meal, mixed with some beer dregs from his sorghum brew, into a swimming pool that he has converted into a fish pond.

“For over a decade, fish farming has become a hobby that has earned me a fortune,” Thompson, who lives in Milton Park, a low density area in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, told IPS. In fact, he has been able to acquire a number of properties which he now rents out.

Thompson is just one of many here who have struck gold through fish farming.

African strides in fish farming are gaining momentum at a time the United Nations is urging nations the world over to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns as part of its proposed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire this year.

The SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals, targets and indicators that U.N. member states are expected to use as development benchmarks in framing their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.

Faced with nutritional deficits, a number of Africans have turned to fish farming even in towns and cities to complement their diets.

In Zimbabwe, an estimated 22,000 people are involved in fish farming, according to statistics from the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Behind the success of many of these fish farmers stands the Aquaculture Zimbabwe Trust, which was established in 2008 to mobilise resources for the sustainable development of environmentally-friendly fisheries in Zimbabwe as a strategy to counter chronic poverty and improve people’s livelihoods.

Over the years, it has been on the ground offering training aimed at building capacity to support the development of fish farming.

Read the full article: IPS

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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