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Fish Farming Under Threat in Luwero over High Costs of Feeds

Livingstone Kabanda a fish farmer at Nkonge village in Katikamu sub county boasts of 2500 fish in the fish pond but says that he is challenged to produce fish above 500 grams over high costs of feeds.
Livingstone Kabanda a fish farmer at Nkonge village in Katikamu sub county

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Farmers in Luwero district have decried the high costs of feeding fish.

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 feeds.

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.

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