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Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:28 - Updated Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:28

Huila: Interest in fish farming on the rise

Lubango - Fish farming in southern Huila province has begun to make great strides , which is expected to contribute to the diversification of the local economy, to the fight against famine and poverty and creation of direct and indirect jobs.

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Huíla: Fish farming

Photo: Saturnino Tomás

By Belarmina Paulino

Aquiculture is considered important for the process of diversification of the economy, fight against famine and poverty, provision of food security and increase in family income, especially in the rural area.

The head of the fishing section of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Flora Fernandes, told Angop that despite being new, the activity in Huila is attracting the private sector, with a growing manifestation of interest.

Until now, there are five farmers with facilities for medium and large scale production of fingerlings, some currently in full activity, like AJYANP-Limitada, Calivo, Tchissola III, Calhata and Imperial, in the municipalities of Humpata, Chibia and Lubango. 

The official explained that the farming can be done in tank-nets, ground or concrete tanks, with appropriate water and soil. Currently, farmers get the fingerlings from Luanda.

Besides captive breeding, Huíla has a water potential that includes rivers and dams that enable it to carry out fishing in most of its 14 municipalities, thus meeting the families and market needs.

These are the cases of Humpata, Chibia, Quipungo, Chicomba and Cuvango, whose water and agricultural potential enables them a larger fish production, mainly in agriculture, development of rivers and dams water flows.

In addition come the water resources-rich municipalities of Caluquembe, Caconda, Chicomba, Quilengues, Jamba and Cuvango.  

Flora Fernandes highlighted the existing interest on the part of social partners of the sector, namely non-governmental organisations willing to participate in the training of fishing communities, seeking an increase in production and catch.

To this end, “we have been improving the programme of organisation of continental fishing, development of the fishing potential of each municipality, by organising and supplying the peasant communities with the working means, as they are the ones that do the fishing,” she added.


Until now, the official said, the fish is eaten fresh or dried, despite the fact that the communities do not have the processing technologies and do it manually whenever they fail to sell it fresh.

In order to respond to demand, groups of families have been formed in the municipalities where the activity is carried out, seeking a better exploration of existing resources resulting from fishing with small vessels, nets, hooks and others.

Assistance    

The Ministry of Agriculture provides technical and institutional support for the farmers’ organisation and legalisation, as well as in access to credit, as it is the case mentioned by Flora Fernandes of AJYANP-Limitada that got funding to boost fish farming.

On the other hand, she regretted that her institution has been out of supply of fishing boats and other equipment to distribute to the fishermen since 2009. However, the fishermen remain firm and continue producing, even using makeshift instruments.

Flora considered the activity an added value for Huíla, despite its lower development as compared with other provinces, hoping to make giant strides towards progress and self-sufficiency.

Catch

In the first half of last year, the province reported a catch of 6,334 kilograms of fish of the quimaia, sardine, catfish, chumbululo, peixe-cão, kaqueia, ecanda, vimiamia and banda types, against the 11,027 kilograms of same period of 2015.

In his turn, Emanuel da Silva, in charge of AJYANP, started the project three years ago in an area of 10 hectares of existing 30 hectares, where six ground tanks have been built, in addition to another 12 of 14 concrete ones under construction under “Angola Investe” programme funding.

However, the businessman says there has been some progress in the project infrastructure which, according to him, will lead to a rise in business, better productivity of the farm and supply of quality products to customers.

Prospect

“We have got work cycles and our expectation is to reach a monthly capacity of more than 520 tons of fish,“ said Emanuel da Silva.

The first fingerlings have been imported from Luanda and other sources, “but our intention is for us to grow our own. We are going to have our own laboratories, feed plant and other production support facilities.”

Constraints

The businessman mentioned as the main constraint facing his project the delay in the release of funds by commercial banks to complete the project and start effective and large scale production.

According to him, the “Angola Investe” programme has put aside Akz 400 million for his project that is still to receive the whole amount.

“However,  we did not stop, we are working with the existing facilities and producing in small scale,” he stated.

“We could be producing and selling, but due to the lack of funds to buy the fattening feed, we are with hands tied,” Emanuel da Silva added.

But he said he hopes that the situation gets settled down soon to avoid the paralysation of the project.

Job creation 

The farm is currently served by a manpower of 50 direct workers and 120 indirect ones, which could rise as the project reaches full functioning.


The project is a large one, involving tanks and cold storage facilities, laboratories, dormitories and other facilities.

“We are going to start now the construction of a dam 200 metres long and 19 metres depth to sustain the six ground tanks,” said the businessman.

They are two 52/226 metres tanks and four with 52/150 metres.

The water that feeds the farm flows from Caculuvar river, through a gravity system that provides 10,000 cubic metres per hour.


Emanuel da Silva appealed to the concerned organs to intercede with the banks to release the funds as the project has been approved and took off in 2013.

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