KOBOKO. When Mr John Ededria, 41, a self-taught bicycle mechanic turned to fish farming in 2016, he thought he would make an easy breakthrough.
The father of seven children who only owns four acres of land was hard pressed by the growing demand of his family and needed an income generating activity better than sitting by the roadside to wait for a bicycle to breakdown for repairs.
Without prior training and knowledge sharing, he dug a pond using hand hoe and bought 100 fingerlings at sh50,000 from Mr Charles Yangu, an established fish farmer in Koboko district to start with.
He bought some loaves from a bakery in town for feeding the fish, mixing it with food remnants.
But 30 of the catfish escaped in floodwater leaving behind 70 which were harvested a year later of which 20 were eaten at home and 50 sold through a middleman.
Earning about sh300,000 from the sale of fish, he used the money to hire people to dig seven more ponds, but he stocked them with only 150 catfish due to lack of feeds.
With his trial and error approach paying very little, Mr Ededria, a P.5 dropout who has been forced to cry out for training in fish farming.
“I need knowledge on how to raise fingerlings so that I can cutoff the expenses of acquiring new stock and use the savings to buy food for the fish,” Mr Ededria said.
He said with such knowledge, he would also volunteer to train other community members who are interested in fish farming.
Jane Atai Butiga, the Koboko district community development officer who recently visited Mr Ededria’s farm in Tabi village, Dranya Sub County said that Mr Ededria’s knowledge needs would be addressed by the district.
She described him as promising and hardworking and added that the district would supply the farmer with 400 cocoa seedlings aimed at diversifying his sources of income at least in three years’ time.