President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to urgently bring to cabinet a memorandum on fisheries and aquaculture development fund.
President Lungu has further directed that the US$23.7 million aquaculture seed fund he launched in Mwinilunga last year be part of the same fund to be established.
“I am directing the Honourable Minister ( Professor Nkandu Luo ) for the ministry of fisheries and livestock to urgently bring to cabinet a cabinet memorandum on the establishment of the fisheries and aquaculture development fund in line with the fisheries act no. 22 of 2011.
“I further direct that the US$23.7 million aquaculture seed fund which I launched in Mwinilunga in chief Kanyama’s chiefdom on 30th may, 2020, be part of the fisheries and aquaculture development fund,” the President stated.
The President said this in Siavonga district today when he officiated at the first harvest of the two cooperatives which were supported by the Presidential empowerment fisheries initiative.
President Lungu said the move will ensure a self-sustaining fisheries and aquaculture subsector adding that looking inward was better before seeking outside help.
And President Lungu said positive results of initiatives from pilot fish farming projects is a demonstration that Zambia can be self-sufficient in fish production and become a net exporter in the region.
“I am happy to learn that in 2020 Zambia produced an estimated 45,670 tonnes of fish from aquaculture, representing 18 percent improvement from the 2019 aquaculture production which was estimated then at 38,800 tonnes. Aquaculture production was only 10,520 tonnes in 2011.
“This increase between 2011 and 2020 is because my government has put in place a robust programme for aquaculture production across the country ensuring that no one is left behind,” President Lungu noted.
He further commended Kamimbi and Buyantashi cooperatives for their hard work exhibited in managing the fish which was stocked last year and were harvesting it today.
“I wish to urge other fish farmers to emulate the good work and dedication demonstrated by Buyantashi and Kamimbi cooperatives. There is need for us to kill the culture of dependency syndrome by promoting self-reliance, ” said President Lungu.
And Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Development Professor Luo has appealed to the private sector to support communities that have potential to come out of poverty. She said it was sad that the private sector was not doing enough to supplement government efforts.
Prof. Luo said the success story of the two cooperatives shows that the private sector had the potential support people come out of poverty if they work and partner with government.
The Minister said her ministry will continue providing policy framework and guidance to ensure that the aquaculture industry thrives and grows as demonstrated by those who have benefited from such funds.
Earlier, Yalelo Fisheries Board Chairperson Fisho Mwale commended the President for showing leadership by responding to the needs of the vulnerable in society.
He said it was gratifying that his company was able to contribute and provide support to ensuring that the cooperatives succeeded in their project.
Mr Mwale said the company is ready to support communities and work with other partners to support communities who come up with such initiatives.