Kabarole Fish Cages Rotting Away In Stores

2307 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The district fisheries department was last year allocated 100 million shillings to purchase cages. Ten fish cages were purchased for fish farmers and more cages were to be purchased this year. However, the cages have never been utilized and are rotting away at the department’s stores in Nyabukara, Fort Portal Municipality.

Ten fish cages purchased by Kabarole fisheries department to promote fish cage farming in the district are rotting away.

Fish Cage Farming is a process whereby a cage is placed in a lake or a pond and the young fish is kept there to grow and feed artificially.

The district fisheries department was allocated 100 million shillings to purchase cages. Last year ten fish cages were purchased for fish farmers and more cages were to be purchased this year. However, the cages have never been utilized and are rotting away at the department’s stores in Nyabukara, Fort Portal Municipality. This has angered fish farmers in the district who have accused the fisheries department of failing to do its work. Francis Bahemuka, a fisherman at Lake Ssaka, is angry that the district has failed to popularize fish cage farming. He says farmers had a lot of expectations, when the district purchased the cages.

Bahemuka, who has in the past tried out fish cage farming, says that this kind of farming is good because a farmer can easily monitor the growth of his fish and also feed the fish on breeds of his choice.
 
//Cue in: “With the cages…
Cue out: …in a small area.”//

Benjamin Akugizibwe, the chairperson Kabarole Fish Farmers Association, says they have on several times approached the district fisheries department for information about the fate of the fish cages, but in vain.


Akugizibwe, who owns a fish cage, says that some farmers would want to purchase their own cages and not rely on the district, but they lack the funds.

//Cue in:  “You invest three million…
Cue out: …they will shy away.”//

Brian Baguma, the Kabarole District Fisheries Officer, says that the department lacks people to train the farmers how to use the cages. Baguma says the fisheries department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries promised to send technical staff to teach the farmers how to use the cages.  

The fish cage costs 2 million shillings and can be made from locally available materials such as bamboo. Most cages are 2.5 square meters or can be larger depending on the owner’s needs and the quantity of fish to be reared.

Last month, the State Minister for Fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa said the government will popularize fish cage farming to increase fish production in the wake of declining fish stocks in major lakes.

According to Nankabirwa, when the public embraces fish cage farming, Uganda will be in position to produce enough fish for both local consumption and export.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.