Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate through Zimbabwe Parks and and Wildlife Management Authority has distributed 700 000 fingerlings in 20 districts in the country as part of the Command Fisheries Programme which was launched by President Mugabe at Tokwe Mukosi Dam in Masvingo last month.
Zimparks has also stocked Insukamini Dam with 100 000 fingerlings of Nile Tilapia-Oreochromis Niloticus bream which originated from Nile River in North Eastern Africa.
Speaking during the stocking of Insukamini Dam in Lower Gweru on Friday, the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya said the province had already stocked dams with more than 110 000 fingerlings excluding Insikamini.
Minister Machaya said the Government had stocked dams in 20 districts across the country with more than 700 000 fingerlings under Command Aquaculture and Fisheries.
“We are here at Insukamini Dam to launch the Command Fisheries Programme in Midlands Province which is the largest in the province. I am going to do this by introducing the Nile Tilapia-Oreochromis Niloticus, a fish species that has high productivity. This is a fast reproductive fish that matures and start reproducing within six months.
The programme to stock dams with fish has already started nationwide with almost 700 000 fingerlings already distributed in 20 districts around the country. Within the Midlands Province, we have so far stocked three dams with 110 000 fingerlings,” he said.
Minister Machaya Command Aquaculture and Fisheries would go a long way in complementing Command Agriculture in averting hunger and alleviating poverty as espoused in Zim Asset.
“This agricultural season, the Government had embarked on the Command Agriculture Programme which is supervised by the Vice-President (Emmerson Mnangagwa)’s office and the programme is aimed at improving food security in the country. The programme was blessed with abundant rainfall this year and the country is expecting a bumper harvest of various agricultural crops,” he said.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate has embarked on Command Fisheries and Aquaculture programme to rejuvenate the fisheries industries and complement the command agriculture programme in improving food security in the country.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is the implementing agency for this programme which aims at strengthening one of the clusters under Zim Asset that deals with food security and nutrition,” he said.
Zimparks director conservation Mr Arthur Mutsakwa said Command Fisheries Programme will ensure that food and nutrition needs are met in the communities and at the same time creating employment opportunities and therefore contributing to the national economy.
“It is important to note that some communities in the Midlands Province have so far benefited from the on-going fish restocking in their areas and individual ponds. These include dams and individual ponds in Gweru, Kwekwe and Shurugwi districts. A cumulative total of 44 400 fingerlings have been stocked in dams and individual fish farmers have received 2 400 fingerlings,” he said.
Mr Mutsakwa said more dams will benefit from the programme by either receiving for the first time or further restocking to acceptable sustainable quantities of fish fingerlings.