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Masisi promotes aquaculture

22 Apr 2024

The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has implored Batswana to venture into fish farming and its value chains for economic diversification and food security. He said government wanted to provide a conducive environment through tailor-made policies and programmes intended to empower Batswana.

He said this while touring stalls at the end of the Hika la Ngwanyana Cultural festival at Moshupa Dam on Sunday. 

Dr Masisi said through the envisaged Thuo Letlotlo, which is scheduled to be officially launched on Thursday, the government intended to provide guidelines which would promote aquaculture, alongside livestock production. 

He urged Batswana to position themselves to benefit from such programmes as groups or individuals. 

“I encourage all of you to make use of these programmes, including those without reservoirs because you can start by breeding from a small container. This will enhance household food security, and reduce the costs you incur to buy protein in your homes,” he said. 

Dr Masisi underscored the need to regulate the fish market for economic beneficiation to Batswana. 

He said Botswana’s water bodies were environmentally clean, hence creating a lucrative market for the fish business. 

He said fish breeding was a profitable business owing to a shorter reproduction cycle. 

“Breeding fish like we do animals like cattle, goats and chickens, with proper feeding, is a lucrative business because they take a short time to reproduce,” he said.

 The Principal Scientific Officer in the Department of Aquaculture and Apiculture, Mr Okae Setswalo, said there were many opportunities in the fish breeding value chain which could be exploited for economic benefit. 

He said his department was committed to sensitising Batswana about opportunities presented by fish farming.

“All these create employment and empower people economically because there are those who catch the fish, others transport it to those who then cook to sell,” he said.

To promote aquaculture as a job creation and income generating enterprise, he said they promoted proper ways of handling, cooking and fish consumption to the local communities. 

“Unlike countries like Zambia and DRC, in Botswana we are not a fish eating nation and some people do not buy it because they do not how to cook it. We therefore want to showcase different methods of cooking it to promote eating fish hence enhancing the business aspect of it,” he said. 

Dr Masisi had the opportunity to experience the fishing process at Moshupa Dam, which recently received 1 500 fish from the national hatchery in Mmadinare. 

Mr Seabelo Thekiso, the  scientific officer, said they had an ongoing restocking programme to plant fish in various water bodies across the country. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : kehumile Moekejo

Location : Moshupa

Event : Cultural festival

Date : 22 Apr 2024