The Department of Fisheries has urged small-scale farmers in the country to take fish farming as a business saying the industry has the potential to replace tobacco in improving the economic livelihoods of Malawians.
The Department has since urged farmers to utilize the already existing lucrative and high market demand for fish and make a killing.
The Department’s Fisheries Officer George Mbuje Ntenjera said this when he facilitated the formation of an Innovative Fish Farmers Network (IFFN) in Mzimba District on Thursday.
IFFN is a platform that pools Fish farmers together where they would share experiences, conduct market research, identify innovative ways on how they could maximize fish production, and ensure that they financially benefit from the fishing industry, according to Ntenjera.
However, Ntenjera observed that the fish industry in Malawi is under-utilized because many farmers take fish farming as meant for consumption only.
He said the Department is therefore mobilizing fish farmers through the IFFNs where they will be able to access loans, trainings and other innovative strategies that will increase Fish production.
Mzimba has 318 Fish farmers who have over 447 fish ponds covering 77827m2 of land. Within six months, farmers harvested 2149.5kg of fish of which 353kg were for consumption and 1796.5kg were sold.
“MK718, 600 was realized from the sales,” Mzimba District Fisheries Officer Francis Sidira said.