Harare (New Ziana) – The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has been expanded to include a Fisheries portfolio to cater for the growing fish industry in the country.
Aquaculture or fish farming in Zimbabwe is a growing industry, buoyed by a huge market.
“Our ministry has been expanded to Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement. The new department, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will spearhead the development, expansion and necessary regulation of fisheries,” the Ministry tweeted.
The fisheries sub-sector comprises capture fishery, aquaculture and recreational fishery components.
The largest fishery in Zimbabwe is on Lake Kariba and contributes almost 90 per cent of the country’s fish production.
Lake Kariba supports an open-water semi-industrial night fishery for the Kapenta, bream and small scale fishing by village communities around the lake shore.
Trout is also produced in the Eastern Highlands for the urban markets and for recreational fishing.
According to official statistics, Zimbabwe’s fish output averages 18 400 tonnes every year, yet demand is estimated at 60 000 tonnes yearly.
To ramp up output, alleviate rural poverty and improve nutrition, the government has initiated a number of aquaculture initiatives over the years.
In 2017, the government launched the Command Fisheries Programme at the country’s largest inland dam, Tugwi-Mukosi.
However, there is the need to further explore the potential in aquaculture, especially small-scale fish farming by improving fingerling and feed production and supply, as well as extension services.
Development of aquaculture could help to improve national food and nutrition security.