The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Zimbabwe today launched a two-year Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) to enhance fish breeding and production in the country. The TCP will alleviate the challenges currently faced by the fish farming sector concerning the availability of quality fingerling supply. The launch was attended by more than 60 key stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture value chain in Zimbabwe.
The TCP was developed in response to a request to FAO by the Honourable Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. A. J. Masuka during a high-level state visit to Zimbabwe by the FAO Director-General Dr. Qu Dongyu last year. The TCP was developed through a national consultative process led by FAO and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Department.
“The FAO TCP programme will assist to strategically position hatcheries across the country to improve access and reduce the cost of fingerlings. As a Ministry, the thrust is to make use of aquaculture as business for youth, women, men and through such initiatives the country will soon be in a position to unlock the potential of our aquaculture sector,” said Honourable Davis Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development in his official opening remarks of the launch.
The project will enhance the capacity of government staff in tilapia hatchery management and the capacity of government hatchery facilities for production of high-quality fingerlings while reviewing and strengthening the hatchery management policy and legal framework.
“FAO’s work in fisheries and aquaculture is geared towards bringing about a Blue Transformation, a vision committed to building sustainability and resilience. For the good of the fishing farming sector, my aspiration is for successful and sustainable implementation of this project,” said Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and Representative in Zimbabwe encouraging active project participation and engagement of all key stakeholders.
FAO works with member states and development partners to transform aquatic systems and promote responsible and sustainable management of aquatic food systems. This project will be implemented in line with National Development Strategy 1 and FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-31 which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
This project is anchored on capacitation of farmers and extension staff to augment the fingerling production along the value chain. Key to sustainability is the modelling of the hatchery infrastructure design with the view of adaptability and replicability in other areas. The project will facilitate distribution of genetically selected breeds of high performance to arrest high demand and low supply of quality fingerlings in Zimbabwe. In addition, the project will facilitate trainer capacitation, which is key to the success, continuity, and cascading of the project to farmers and promote gender inclusivity by ensuring that women and youth are included in all layers of the value chain commencing with breeding and the supply chain.
Going forward, the project will establish three hatcheries that are expected to supply fish fingerlings to famers in Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland South provinces. The hatcheries are expected to supply more than 3.9 million fingerlings, and this is going to significantly increase fish production output in the country and improve people’s livelihoods.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).