Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fish farmers in Arua district have received 74,255 fingerlings through the Operation Wealth Creation-OWC program and the National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADs, to boost production.
These include 43,000 tilapia fingerlings and 31,255 fingerlings for the African cat fish. The fingerlings were distributed to over 20 fish farmers during the routine supply and stocking exercise by the district production and marketing department.
The restocking comes at the time when several districts in West Nile are grappling with a decline in the fish catch from River Nile due to the presence of water weeds that has covered most of the fishing grounds and the negative effects of poor fishing methods.
Joseph Kitamirike, the Arua District Fisheries Officer, says that the farmers also received 1.3 tons of startup feeds for the fingerlings.
Alfred Okuonzi, the LC V Chairperson of Arua district commended the government for the initiative, saying as a district they are determined to step up prospects of aquaculture farming. He cautioned the beneficiaries against mishandling the fingerings.
Cosmas Ezangu, one of the beneficiaries hailed the government for encouraging aquaculture production in the district. Ezangu says he has managed to build houses as a result of fish farming.
Felix Asia, a beneficiary from Manibe asked the government to reduce taxes on fish feeds to make it affordable for farmers to sustain their aquaculture projects.
Arua district has a fishpond coverage area of more than 10,000 square meters. According to records at the district fisheries office, there are more than 200 fish farmers in the West Nile district.