Keetmanshoop-With the help of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, residents of //Kharas are slowly but surely embracing fish farming in the course of job creation and poverty alleviation.
With 10 small scale fish farms, the region has seen a significant increase in the number of people wanting to venture into small scale fish farming over the last few years. The manager of Fonteintjie fish farm at Keetmanshoop said during a harvest recently that fish farming is growing and thriving in the region.
Simasiku is impressed by the interest shown in fish farming by residents and expects more people to venture into fish farming, while he hopes those that have started to move away from small-scale to larger scale fish farming will help create jobs and thus help alleviate poverty in the country.
The main aim of the ministry is to empower people to be able to produce their own food through fish farming and be able to feed themselves and others in future, at the same time creating jobs.
“Food production is the main aim, the farms we have are doing well and they are upgrading their farms and taking it seriously, so we expect these farms to grow and be successful businesses in future,” he said.
Simasiku noted there is demand for the fresh water tilapia fish, and eight more farms are expected to be operational by the end of the year, and the ministry is currently reviewing the applications of possible fish farmers.
On Monday a team from the Fonteintjie fish farm harvested 50 kg of fish at one of the subsistence fish farms at Keetmanshoop and Simasiku is impressed with the quality and size of the fish.
Erich Stumpfe, who is the owner of the fish farm expressed his excitement over his first harvest, after he started with the farm about eight months ago. Stumpfe who started with fish farming as a hobby, said fish farming can become a business that presents good opportunities for the residents of //Kharas, especially when the Neckartal dam is completed.
“I am very happy for my first harvest, I work closely with the ministry and it is good that we are finally getting something,” he said. He urged other fish farmers to integrate fish farming with crop farming, as the water from the fish farming has nutritional value and is good for plants.