About K160, 000, 00 has been disbursed to farmers undertaking fish farming under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP) Aquaculture Seed Fund in Katete district of Eastern Province.
District Aquaculturist, Trigger Hambalangwe, disclosed that the amount is for 10 farmers, who received K16, 000-00 each for the excavation of the ponds.
Mr Hambalangwe explained that the total amounts awarded to the farmers ranged between K120, 000, 00 to K150, 000, 00 and were disbursed as the dams progressed.
“By 29 December 2022, money was disbursed to the 10 farmers and we expect by the second week of March, they can start stocking the fish. Each farmer will stalk 6000 fingerlings, and each pond is 20 by 30 meters in size,” he said.
Mr Hambalangwe further highlighted that three people under the marketing section of the value chain also received their funding.
“Under marketing we have three and each received K34, 250, 00. We also have a cooperative under marketing of which five members received K20, 000, 00 each, meaning the cooperative was funded at K100, 000, 00,” he said.
He also explained how the project had been moving since its inception in 2019.
“Under the aquaculture value chain as to date we have 34 clients since July 2019. The first disbursement was done in 2020 and it was composed of eight for fish farming then later on another eight in marketing,” he said.
Mr Hambalangwe said despite having started disbursing in 2020, the fish farming section had not been performing well as regards to recoveries, since the support were loans and not grants.
“Most recoveries are coming from marketing. For marketing we are almost at 80 percent recovery and the only challenge is with fish farming but currently most of them are promising to start the repayments,” he said.
The Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP) is funded by the African Development Bank to enhance the aquaculture value chain.