By Abigail Kashweka
The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has funded the establishment of a K1. 3 million fish hatchery in Chipata.
The hatchery is meant to cushion challenges faced by fish farmers in the province in accessing fingerings.
CEEC Public Relations and Communications Manager Michelo Mukata disclosed in Chipata that the hatchery is scheduled to be operational by May this year.
“To address some of the challenges fish farmers are facing, the Commission has financed the establishment of a hatchery in Chipata. Once operational, the hatchery will benefit not only those in Chipata but the province as a whole,” he said.
Mr Mukata said the facility will be ready in three months’ time.
“Even the issue of mortality will be tackled because farmers will no longer have to go as far as Lusaka to access fingerings. This will also cut on costs,” he explained.
Meanwhile, CEEC has expressed happiness with the performance of aquaculture projects by beneficiaries under the aquaculture seed fund disbursed through the commission and accessed by a number of people in the Eastern Province.
Francis Phiri, a beneficiary who acquired a loan of K103,000 said he has managed to increase the number of ponds to eight from one.
He added that he is in the current cycle scheduled to stock up to 22,000 fingerings out of which 7,000 are already stocked.
“Aquaculture is a profitable business as long as someone has enough stock. I am thankful to the Government for this sponsorship,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Cosmas Siluyele who acquired a loan said there’s a huge demand for fish in the province.
“We are not even able to meet the demand for fish. All I can say is this business is good,” he said.
He noted that his business has grown from the time he acquired the funds.
Mr Siluyele added that he has managed to employ five people to help him with managing the fish ponds, compared to only one employee before his business got a boost.