NAIS-The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock says it has so far disbursed 11 Million United States Dollars of the Aquaculture Seed Fund to beneficiaries under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP).
Director of Fisheries ALEXANDER KEFI says the Ministry will continue disbursing loans to beneficiaries until the total amount of 23point 7 Million of the Aquaculture Seed Fund is utilised.
Dr. KEFI is happy that the treasury has allowed the project to continue to revolve the money from the loan recoveries which accumulated to about K4.4m by the end of December 2021.
He says the loans, which are to be repaid within 5 years, have helped reduce the national fish deficit from 87 Thousand tonnes to 76 Thousand tonnes through the various aquaculture value chain funded projects.
Dr. KEFI says he is optimistic that Zambia will in the next five years manage to completely reduce the fish deficit and become a net exporter.
Dr. KEFI said this in an interview with NAIS when he visited some of beneficiaries of the Aquaculture Seed Fund who are involved in fingerling and fish production in Chongwe, Rufunsa and Lusaka districts.
And proprietor of Kaka farms in Chongwe KAMBULE SIWALE said the loan she got from ZAEDP has enabled her construct a hatchery where she produces 150 thousand fingerlings per month.
Ms SIWALE said she is proud to be among Zambians, who are bridging the gap of the fingerling deficit in the country and is confident of repaying the loan so that others benefit.
Meanwhile, NZILA SIABALIMA of Glenmore Farms Limited said fish farming is a profitable business as the returns on investment are huge.
Mrs. SIABALIMA said she will re-invest her proceeds from the 10 THOUSAND fingerlings she has stocked in her ponds into processing and becoming an off taker like some of the major fish companies in Zambia.