KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Albert Chalamila, has urged residents in the region to invest in aquaculture to increase raw materials for the country’s fish processing industries.
He explained that the government has finalised plans to introduce cage farming in Kagera Region to increase revenue from fisheries resources.
“A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed between Kagera regional leaders, Ministry of Livestock Development, Tanzania Agricultural Catalytic Trust (TACT) and Nelson Mandela African Institution of Sciences and Technology.
“The contribution from the fisheries sector has for a long time remained minimal by only 1.71 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The typical individual in the world should consume 20.5 kilogrammes of fish per year, but in Tanzania, the average person consumes only 8.5 kilogrammes,” he said.
He appealed to wananchi to utilise the maximum opportunity by joining hands to start cage fish farming, saying the business was very lucrative.
Fish as a major source of food and protein is in high demand and the price of fish and fish-related products is fast rising in tandem with population expansion therefore aquaculture is the solution, he said.
Elaborating, he said Kagera Region was chosen as a pilot area where the cage farming would be implemented before the programme is expanded to other areas.
He commended wananchi for allocating enough land at Kyamalange village in Bukoba Rural’s Rubafu Ward, where cage fish farming activities will be conducted on a pilot basis.
The Lake Victoria fishery contributes immensely to the socio-economic development of the riparian states.
The East African Community (EAC) has designated the lake basin as an ‘economic growth zone’, with the potential to develop into a major economic region. Fishing industry is vital in creating employment opportunities, mostly rural-based, thereby helping to reduce rural-urban migration.
Fish is also a rich source of animal protein for human consumption and provides raw material (fish meal) for processing animal feeds.
The fish industry contributes to GDP and has continued to be an important source of foreign exchange earned from fish exports.
Besides, the fish industry contributes to the national and local government revenues through the levying of various taxes, levies and license fees.