Govt to start loaning 2.5bn/- for fish farming

The government will start disbursing over 2.5bn/- as fish farming loans in the lake zones before the end of next month.

The fish farming loans will be issued, according to Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mr Abdallah Ulega, in groups in Lake Victoria.

“Our experts have already surveyed and identified the areas on Lake Victoria that can accommodate about 800 fish cages in Mwanza…,” Mr Ulega said while touring the fish activities—on the blue economy in the second largest city in the country.

He said also potential fish farming through caging in other parts of Lake Victoria have been identified in Kagera and experts working in Geita, Mara and Simiyu regions.

The deputy minister also asked the Mwanza Regional Administrative Secretary and Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) to meet in Dodoma this Thursday to finalise the loaning procedures before disbursement next month.

The currently fish demand is between 700,000 and 800,000 metric tons annually, against 400, 000 to 450,000 metric tons supply. Thus fish farming may close up the gap.

“We must invest…to close the gap,” he said.

The deputy minister was responding to a concern raised by Members of Parliament special seats (youth) Ms Ng’wasi Kamani that some groups requested the loan through TADB six months ago, and received little response.

“The farmers should also be given a grace period of at least a year before repayment because the investment takes over eight months before harvesting,” Ms Kamani said and suggested creating special insurance for fish farming.

Mwanza Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Balandya Elikana, said they will cut down the red tape to make the exercise successful.

“Dealing with the red tape is in our capacity, leave the matter to us,” Ms Elikana said.

On the other hand, farmers expressed their readiness to venture into fish cage farming but are worried about the high price of fish feeds since quality one is imported and may jeopardise their investment return.

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