MARACHA. An American nongovernmental organization (NGO) Peace Corps has agreed to support completion of fish hatchery unit at Green Valley farm in Oluvu sub-county, Maracha district.
The hatchery is aimed at supplying fish fries for about 50 members of Oluvu Sub County integrated fish farmers association.
The NGO which camped in Maracha district farmer’s association (MADIFA) offices at Ovujo trading centre in Oluffe sub-county six months ago pledged to inject approximately 19M shillings (5000 dollars) during the budget meeting held at the project site on Friday to complete the remaining work.
Two water tanks each 5000L, water pump, a 240W solar system worth Shs 800,000, water heater, barbed wire and fence among others will be set in the farm beside the hatchery.
Members of the association will also receive training on production of fingerling or fish fries and monitored closely until the beneficiaries become experienced to operate without external technical support.
Ms. Shayna Kransoff of Peace Corps Uganda volunteers said they initially teach communities in record keeping and income generation but they realized that Ugandans don’t need these trainings so they just need to be invested in.
The Local Council I (CLI) chairperson for Marubeke village Mr. Samuel Afema was delighted over the program and is optimistic that it will transform the lives and economic status of over 100 fish farmers in the sub-county.
The director of the farm Mr. Pius Opio Candia said the project will make the association to achieve their dreams to fully stock numerous ponds sunk by the farmers in their respective farms.
“The support inform of fish fries we get from the district fisheries department is inadequate, sometimes one farmer benefits from it yearly, gone will be the days to import fingerlings expensively from private people in Kampala when this hatchery is complete,” Candia said.
The Agriculture officer for Oluvu integrated fish farmers association Mr. Francis Atiku stated that the NGO singled to support them out of over 20 groups in the district due to the level of organization they found in them.
“We prioritized fish farming which has few competitors ahead of other enterprises because it is profitable if properly managed, ready market and environmentaly friendly.
Mr. Pius Candia Opio director of the association stated that the project is a big gift because it will end the challenge of buying fish fries expensively from private individuals.
“The district used to supply fish fries for our farmers, because we are far sometimes one farmer used to benefit from the whole sub-county, completing this facility will be a blessing and we pledge not to disappoint our donors,” Mr. Candia explained.
Mr Charles Yangu, a prominent fish farmer from Koboko district and an instructor contracted by the NGO to monitor the construction of the hatchery advised the farmers to be self motivated to invest in fish business than to be drawn into the business after seeing other people succeeding.
“I have visited several places including USA and China because of my commitment in fish farming and I want to advise you to value it by keeping better spices like cut fish and another variety of fish taken from Uganda to China in 1952 that is already extinct here to reap more money”, Yangu explained.
He said government treasures fish farming in the communities because it makes restocking of depleted species in rivers and lakes in the country possible.
Yanngu said farmers in the association should employ cost effective fish farming by using local feeds like food refuse, rice and maize brand since the program is aimed at empowering the ordinary farmers.
He said cow dung, goat and poultry dropping should be taken to the ponds to make plankton after fermentation.
He stated that the fish ponds do not require shade and sanitation around the ponds should be kept.
Yangu says well fed fish will be ready to be harvested within eight months and should be harvested at once to reduce costs.
The area is blessed with a number of permanent reliable water sources like springs, swamps, underground water and streams which aids fish farming.