• No fish farmer has been funded to date.
• Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and CEEC are still doing the evaluation.
• A number of fish farmers are still in need of pond liners while some are still in need of pumps in their boreholes.
Zambia Aquaculture Cooperative Society (ZACOSO) says some fish farmers have not yet received funding from government under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project.
Cooperative Board Chairperson Dr. Collins Kachaka told Money FM News in an interview that according to information on the ground, the Ministry of Livestock and Fishers and Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) are still carrying out the evaluation process for all applications received.
Dr. Kachaka said farmers were hopeful that the funding will come on time for them to prepare their fish ponds and fingerlings before the opening of the aquaculture season this month, lamenting that the season is already open but the money has not yet been provided to them, therefore their fish ponds are still empty.
“In terms of funding, yes our farmers applied from all the provinces but at the moment we are still awaiting those funds, no fish farmer has been funded to date. So we hear that the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the CEEC are still doing the evaluation.”
“As farmers on the ground we are still hanging on and waiting, we hope that soon or later the funding should come,” Dr. Kachaka said.
He stated that if the funding is delayed further, it may affect fish production and supply on the market.
“A number of fish farmers are still in need of pond liners, some are still in need of pumps in their boreholes, so really this has not been good because it means that it will not help the sector due to the delay in acting on those loans.”
“We see that the funding will come a bit late and that may affect our sector because if the farmers stock late or stock less fish, then it will affect the production of fish on the market,” he added.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has set aside US$29 million for the implementation of the Aquaculture Seed Fund under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP).