Fish farming in Zambia (aquaculture), is a new undertaking in Zambia. However, it has gained prominence of late with most Zambian farmers.
Currently, production from fish-farming is less than 2 percent of total fish production (both dried and fresh) and about 5 percent of total fresh fish production.
The bulk of fish farmers are concentrated in Lusaka (and surrounding areas) and the Copperbelt.
The number of commercial fish farmers is on the rise. In its bid to develop the sector, government has intensified the supply of fingerings through its fish farming stations based at Chilanga, Chipata and Mwekera (Kitwe).
Among the widely used fingerings are those procured from the Mwekera National Development Research Center in Kitwe.
Fish is a favourite food in many households in Zambia and hence has a ready market. Fish farmers do not need to go far to find one. In fact, the fish is generally sold to traders at the fish farm itself.
The current total output from fish-farming in Zambia is about 710 tons. This is a far cry from the production levels of previous years which stood at 88.7 tons (1967).
The three government fish-farming stations at Chilanga, Mwekera and Chipata have experienced a new lease of life with the help from the FAO/UNDP.
The cost of constructing fish dams or ponds is prohibitive to would be fish farmers. And the adequate supply of water mostly during periods of low rainfall is another difficulty.
Fish farming may be new to most farmers but there has been an increase in the number of farmers venturing into fish farming.
With the increased government backing to fish farmers, the future for fish farming in Zambia looks positive.
A project by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Zambian Catholic Secretariat will result in the establishment of rural fish farms in the Western province.
When fully implemented, the project will add about 45 hectares of fish ponds to the current fish-farming capacity and an expected increase in the quantity of the output.
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