Freetown, 18 June (SLENA): Realizing the fact that fish farming can be a viable alternative, not only for increasing fish availability but also potentially making contributions to household economy and employment, the Ministry of Fisheries in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, has embarked on a project aimed at promoting Aquaculture (Fish Farming) with non coastal potential communities in the country.
With support from the Italian Trust of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the main thrust of the project is to promote semi commercial fish pond sites in close link with existing Agriculture Business Centres.
Speaking during an assessment tour to fish farming sites under construction at Malaforia and Marankonthor in Koinadugu district, Ngandorhun and Nimikoro towns in Kono district, the Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Coordinator in the Ministry of Fisheries, Karmoba Dabo said the project will complement coastal district fisheries in the supply of fish as well as a source of revenue and employment.
|K. K. Dabo (second right) and team at one of the sites.
“Fish consumption is found to be lower in non coastal districts such as Kono and Koinadugu,” he said while appreciating the level of community participation and progress made in the construction of the fish ponds, especially in the Koinadugu district.
Mr. Dabo also appreciated concerns raised by field officers and beneficiaries including the need for expansion and accessibility and promised to communicate them to the appropriate authorities.
The Aquaculture Field Supervisor in Koinadugu district, Alusine Bundu described the project sites as ideal and assured that the four fish ponds, each measuring 400m2 will soon be ready for stocking of fingerlings (pieces of fish).
The Field Technician, Osman Janneh said initial training of community members on pond construction and management has greatly enhanced their work, and entreated the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity.
Chairlady of the Kankalan Agriculture Business Center, Koinadugu district, Satia Marrah thanked government and the FAO for the initiative and pledged their cooperation, saying it will go a long way in contributing to the district’s food security drive.
Secretary General of the Agriculture Business Center, Mongo Section in Ngandorhun, Kono district, Tamba Konoyima Sam said the project is rated high in their community’s development agenda and also pledged their commitment to ensure that it is well managed and sustained.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.