Governor of the Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa is encouraging young and upcoming entrepreneurs to farm tilapia fish in the quest to address high unemployment in the region.
Speaking at a gala dinner aimed at raising funds to host the Tilapia Festival in June, Kashuupulwa urged entrepreneurs to farm with fish in order to create income and jobs for themselves and the many unemployed youths.
Kashuupulwa expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the aquaculture regional office at Ongwediva is barely utilised and hence has not met the required expectations.
“When the office was established five years ago, the expectation was that many people by now would be farming with fish. However, it is not the case today,” he said. According to the governor only a small number of people frequent the office and are engaged in fish farming.
Kashuupulwa encouraged the public to visit the office and equip themselves with knowledge on how to farm tilapia.
Also speaking at the event chief fisheries biologist in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Elizabeth Ndivayele said the Ongwediva office was established to assist farmers venturing into fish farming.
Ndivayele said the ministry is responsible for providing the necessary training and frequent monitoring of the farmers’ progress at the farms.
“The office also provides fish feed to the farmers at a subsidised price. All these activities are done for free, except for buying fingerlings and feed,” said Ndivayele.
Ndivayele encouraged people from all works of life to come up with fish farming projects to enhance food security and improve living standards. “Despite some of the challenges fish farming is faced with, such as the shortage of water in some areas, the potential is still there. All it needs is action and commitment,” she said.
About N$126 000 was raised at the gala dinner. The Ntunda Tilapia Festival will be hosted by Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Samuel Chief Ankama. The event will run from June 3rd to 5th.