Farmers in Luwero district have decried the high costs of feeding
According to the Luwero district fisheries office, the district
boasts 20 tonnes of fish produced annually from 350 farmers spread in sub-counties
of Nyimbwa, Katikamu, Zirobwe, Luwero and Butuntumula sub-county among others.
However, fish farmers say the high costs of buying feeds have affected the
sizes of fish harvested and revenue from their production. Most fish produced
in the district is between 400-500 grams which attract less revenue.
Livingstone Kabanda a fish farmer at Nkonge village in Katikamu Sub County
boasts of 2500 fish stock in his fish ponds but says that he is challenged to
produce fish above 500 grams over high costs of feed.
Kabanda explains that the 20-kilogram bag of fish feeds costs
87,000 shillings whereas a kilogram is sold at 4,500 shillings.
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Rashid Kasozi a fish farmer at Kanyogogga village in Luwero sub-county boasts
of 4,500 fish stock in his ponds but said he is also struggling to feed them. Kasozi
says that he feeds the fish stock on two kilograms out of four kilograms
recommended per day citing a lack of money to sustain it.
Kasozi says that because of poor feeding, fish harvests are below
the minimum recommended one kilogram which attracts better prices.
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A tilapia fish of one kilogram is sold at 10,000-15,000 shillings
in Luwero Central Market.
Robert Wakulyaka the Manager of Nkonge Integrated Fish Farm says that they are
currently looking after 20,000 fish stock and they need four tons of feeds
worth 16 million shillings before harvesting them.
Wakulyaka says that small-scale farmers have resorted to feeding
the fish on local plants but these can’t enable them to harvest fish in better
sizes. He appealed to the government to cut reduce taxes on fish feeds to
enable farmers to afford them if the sector is to grow.
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Some fish farmers say the locally manufactured cheaper feeds are below
standards and they have no option but to buy those imported outside.
Most quality fish feeds sold in Uganda are imported from the
Netherlands, Israel and other countries.
The Luwero District Production Officer Dr Andrew Kidda says that they intend to
register all fish farmers and sensitize them on ways to reduce expenses on
buying feeds. Kidda explains that some
farmers are overstocking fish in ponds and others apply feeds in wrong amounts
which have plunged them into losses.
Kidda asked farmers to seek guidance from fisheries officers
rather than input dealers because some are misadvising them on applications of
According to Fisheries and Aquaculture division at Food and
Agriculture Organisation, Uganda produces 15,000 tonnes of fish aquaculture
including production from small-scale, commercial fish farmers and stocked
water reservoirs as well as minor Lakes.
There are an estimated 20,000 ponds throughout the country.