The high cost of producing fish feeds is eating into the profit of fish farmers in Busoga region. The fish are fed on a mixture of soya beans, cotton cake, sun flower, maize corn and manufactured foods. However, the farmers say the cost of produce of has shot up affecting their profit margin.
George Kalera, an administrator at a fish farm in Nakakabala village in Kamuli district says the increased cost of agricultural produce is taking a toll on fish farmers. He says a kilogram of fish feed has hiked from 2,800 to 3,200 shillings. Kalera administers Bishop Bamwoze’s fish farm which has 33 fish ponds with more than 10,000 fish species each.
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According to Kalera, since the price of agriculture produce shot up in February 2014 their profit margin has reduced. Kalera says that he spends more money to buy the seeds to mix fish feeds. Kalera says that before the hike in wholesale seed prices, a kilo of maize seeds was going for shillings 850 shillings but now it costs 1,300 shillings.
One year ago, Soya bean cost 1,200 shillings but now goes for 2,200 shillings a kilogram. Dr. David Kazungu, another fish farmer in Busota village Kamuli says that he is disappointed that he has not reaped big from his farm. Dr. Kazungu says despite the availability of the abundant fish market, they are facing many challenges due to high costs.
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Dr. Stephen Kiwemba, the Jinja district production officer advises the farmers to buy fish feeds in bulk when the prices are low.