Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fish farmers in Busia district are faced shortage of food to for the fish they are raring in ponds.
According to the farmers, they are worried over the fish fingerlings in the ponds whose growth is being retarded and their quality quality deteriorating due to lack of feeds. There’s no shop currently selling fish feeds in the area. Those who were selling the feeds in Busia town have diverted to other businesses.
Philip Oduli Adome, a model fish farmer raring both tilapia and cat fish in Buteba Sub-county says that the situation has worsened for their fish due to lack feeds. It now takes him three to four days before feed the over 200,000 fish in his 6 ponds.
Adome says that the fish feed scarcity forces them to go in the district of Mbale, Jinja and Kampala to buy fish feeds where they cost 700 shillings per kilogram and he has to face transport charges as well.
Vincent Majanga, another model fish farmer says that has opted to use maize brand which he mixes with dry silver fish to feed the fish. Such food is not recommended for fish feed because it retards their growth.
Majanga says that it is costly in terms of transport to buy fish feeds from the faraway cities of Mbale, Jinja or Kampala. He appealed to well wishers and any business proprietors to come up and stock fish feeds in their shops in the area.
Majanga expressed worry that the over 5,000 tilapia fingerlings he recently bought may get stunted due to shortage of feeds.
James Omuhenye who practices cage fish farming says has opted to leave the fish to survive with the little feeds they get from lake waters.
James Okumu Ojambo, who sells maize bran, says that he abandoned selling fish feeds due to low demand, making it an unprofitable business in the area.
Eugine Egesa, the Busia district fisheries officer advised farmers to use amphibious plants which are a favorite food of Tilapia fingerlings and adult Tilapia, like lemna minor, soirodela polyrhiza, wolffia arrhiza among others.
Those in cage fish farming can use some aquatic plants like water lettuce, water hyacinth or alligator which are good for Tilapia.
Egesa appealed to fish farmers not to lose hope so that Busia can also be among the districts that do fish production in large quantities.