Budaka Forms Association to Boost Fish Farming
By Mudangah Kolyangha
Fish farming is a viable enterprise if more farmers take interest in it. In Budaka, more than 200 farmers have come together to form an association to revamp fish farming in the district.
They converged at Iki-Iki sub-county headquarters to form Budaka Aquaculture Association and elected Arthur Wako Mboizi, as chairperson. He is the former district chairman, and will be deputised by John Boyi.
Other members include Joseph Mugoya as general secretary and Eng John Kasita as the treasurer.
The members, who are fish farmers drawn from across the district, also discussed a number of challenges and how to deal with them.
There is already a domestic market for fish as well as in countries such as DR Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and Central African Republic.
“Fish farmers in the district face a number of challenges. As government, we will do everything possible to help them,” said the district fisheries officer, Gerald Odongo, who presided over the meeting.
“I am sure that with formation of this association, it will boost and motivate fish farmers to take interest.”
He cited records from the fisheries department, which shows that 130 ponds are being used for fish farming but with low levels of production because of poor application of skills. Annually, the district registers 3,000kgs of fish produced.
Therefore, 35 ponds have been set up and will be stocked through Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) as demonstration ponds. There are also organisations such as Jica and South-South Cooperation on board provide technical assistance and in-puts.
One of the fish farmers, Nimrod Mulonde said, “We are ready to start commercialisation of fish. We will commit our energies and resources to this association.”
He noted the challenges as high cost of feeds, shortage of fingerlings on the market, and lack of management skills.
At the forefront
On his part, assistant chief administrative officer Yusuf Mugombe said the association would help give farmers a proper direction.
“I am delighted to see fish farmers in Budaka District showing interest and with farmers at the forefront, everything will go well.”