Monday, November 13, 2017

14/11/2017: AwF development in Malawi

by Clifford Spencer, Chairman, AwF

To breed catfish first involves collecting breeders, both male and female, from fish ponds and then checking if the females have well matured eggs


The ones with well matured eggs that are at the correct stage in the next few days are put together with males of similar size who are ready to fertilise and are taken to a hatchery.

But before putting them together a hormone is injected which induces the laying of eggs and affects the male ones to fertilise within 12 hours of the injection.

The fish are left overnight and in the morning they are checked to see if the female has released the eggs and the eggs have been fertilised.

Immediately, the female and male breeders are taken back to the pond and the eggs undergo a process of aeration for two to three days after which they hatch.

For the smallholder farmers who may get scared with these demands and requirements of this business AwF has heard their words and realise they can farm minus the part of developing their own hatchery.

That requires a massive capital investment, which is beyond them and even more technical. There is a way to go around that by adopting an outgrowing system where they can just buy fingerlings from people who breed them in their hatcheries.

Another factor that is holding back a majority of famers is the cost of the feed used making it beyond the reach of majority of rural smallholder farmers.

On this front AwF will lobby/encourage the government’s assistance to come and help as the government already recognises the need to develop aquaculture in the country. It is felt that now is the time that government looked at subsidised aquaculture feed just like they did with fertiliser in maize production.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development recognises the challenges the sector is facing, which among them is low access to capital for investment in fish farming and limited availability of improved fish production technologies.

There are also a number of complimentary challenges affecting the fisheries industry in Malawi. It suffers overfishing along lakeshores and in shallow water bodies, partly due to weak enforcement of fishing regulations and unexploited deep-water fish resources, and insufficient production in addition to the stated lack of access to quality fingerlings and feed for aquaculture.

Read the full article, HERE.

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