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50 000 Fingerlings For Chimanimani


Sharon Chigeza

MUTARE- Mhandarume Irrigation Scheme in Chimanimani got a shot in the arm as the latest beneficiary of the Presidential Communities Fisheries Programme, receiving over 50 000 fingerlings, testimony of Government’s drive to capacitate rural communities.

Under the Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme the Government is working to harness the nation’s water bodies to increase food production, income and people’s nutrition.

The fish projects are running concurrently with irrigation development and horticulture.

Mhandarume-Mushovani Irrigation Scheme chairperson, Nyasha Chibviri said the Cyclone Idai recovery programme was bearing fruit for the irrigation scheme with the latest addition of fingerlings being a bonus for the beneficiaries.

“We suffered major damages to our water pipes in the Cyclone Idai aftermath. We are grateful to Government for their timely intervention in availing new pipes, reinforcements and the building materials for the rehabilitation of the irrigation scheme.

“We have been supported with farming inputs and the coming in of fingerlings for our fisheries is greatly appreciated. This completes the cycle of complementing initiative within the irrigation scheme,” she said.

Chimanimani Ward 3 Councillor Robert Bande applauded Government intervention in the semi-arid region which he said would improve household nutrition and income.

“As the local leadership, we appreciate these interventions from the Government. We are in Region 5, a semi-arid area which receives very little rainfall so. The irrigation scheme has assisted communities and households to become food secure and the coming in of the fisheries programme will go a long way in broadening the income base as well,” said Bande.

Mature female tilapia fish can lay eggs every three to four months and they lay their eggs in nests made by the males, then carry the fertilised eggs in their mouths until they hatch, before keeping the fingerlings close until they are big and strong enough.

In addition, the tilapia breed is a fast growing fish and it can live for up to 10 years and reach 4.5kg in weight.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said the fish industry in Zimbabwe has a great potential to increase production of fish to 60 000 tonnes annually from the current levels of around 20 000 tonnes per year.

The country is endowed with 10 000 dams and a conducive climate for fish production. The Presidential Fisheries Programme is targeting rural institutions such as irrigation schemes, schools, clinics and interested individual farmers.

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