Zimbabwe’s tilapia sector is on the way to expansion, experts say

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The group discussed ways to help the Southern African nation grow its tilapia sector and promote opportunities for women, youth and marginalized groups without adding pressure on the environment.

“Tilapia is key to our ambition to expand aquaculture production in Zimbabwe,” Milton Makumbe, Acting Director of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, told a meeting organized by FISH4ACP, a global fish development initiative. Organization of African and Caribbean States Fish Value Chain. and Pacific States (OACPS) implemented by FAO with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“This plan is a great help for our efforts and will contribute to poverty reduction, improved food security and economic growth,” Makumbe added.

The strategy calls for an increase in tilapia production to 20,000 tonnes per year, combined with an increase in profits for smallholder tilapia farmers from less than $1.2 million to $60 million, “with no negative effects on biodiversity. and ecosystems or additional pollution”. Additionally, the plan aims to ensure that 40 percent of the tilapia workforce is made up of women, youth and marginalized groups.

“FAO is pleased to support Zimbabwe’s efforts to develop aquaculture production,” said Constance Pepukai, FAO Program Manager.

“FISH4ACP demonstrates how our mandate to transform aquatic food systems into engines of jobs, economic growth, social development and environmental recovery is becoming a reality,” she added.

According to Pepukai, increases in production can be achieved with better inputs and fingerlings, adaptation of good practices and cold chain and marketing support. She added that FISH4ACP is already looking at ways to reduce feed cost by researching alternative ingredients, such as black soldier fly. She also highlighted the importance of strengthening regulatory frameworks and compliance for social improvements and environmental protection to occur.

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