Minister now asks Teso to rear catfish

Mr Lazarus Madilu, a fish farmer, displays a catfish near his fish pond in Pallisa District.  PHOTO / SIMON PETER EMWAMU 

What you need to know:

  • Ms Hellen Adoa, who was championing the PDM awareness crusade in Teso on Wednesday, told locals in Ngora District that fish farming attracts good returns.

The State minister for Fisheries has rallied districts within Teso Sub-region to embrace fish farming as a key enterprise venture in the Parish Development Model (PDM).

Ms Hellen Adoa, who was championing the PDM awareness crusade in Teso on Wednesday, told locals in Ngora District that fish farming attracts good returns.

“The President has advised farmers to quit rice farming for aquaculture. The district fisheries department should advise locals on digging fish ponds,’’ she said.

Ms Adoa also said the demand for fish products is growing every day in the world market.

“If we can only tap into this project, especially the catfish, we shall never go wrong,” Ms Adoa, who is also Woman MP for Serere District, said.

She cited DR Congo as a huge market for catfish, adding that her ministry has what it takes to aid interested farmer groups on the venture.

“I am going to work so hard to have role model parishes in Serere with a few enterprise ventures,” Ms Adoa said.

Mr Paul Bwire Omanyi, a commissioner at the directorate of fisheries, said they are targeting 1.7 million metric tonnes of fish per year, but about 1.5 million metric tonnes should come from fish farming.

He emphasised the ready markets, especially in DR Congo where a single kilogramme of catfish reportedly goes for Shs35,000.

Mr Bwire said a mature catfish can earn you over 10 kilogrammes.

The catfish is a good source of fish maw, which is highly demanding in China.

Mr Bwire said much of the fish maw, which the USA exports to China comes from catfish.  “We have the resources here in Uganda to be what we want, and this PDM can enable us  fetch much returns,”  he said.

In selecting ventures for PDM, Mr Bwire said farmers should be guided.

He added that to promote the fisheries sector, they need to locally-manufacture fish feeds.

“As a country we are paying heavily for imported feeds, but with time, we shall be able to break that chain when we start manufacturing our own on a large scale,” Mr Bwire said.

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