The National, Wednesday March 12th, 2014
THE National Fisheries Authority has given K1 million to the Southern Highlands inland fish farmers for capacity-building and strengthening.
However, 90% of the fund will be managed by NFA and 10% will be given to the provincial fisheries office for management work.
Southern Highlands provincial agriculture and livestock department adviser Kenneth Kuim Toap said many farmers kept on banging on their doors asking for funds without knowing that money was managed by the NFA.
He said last year the department received K500,000 from NFA and the K1 million promised for this year would be released after he submitted the acquittals for the K500,000.
He said hundreds of farmers had shown interest in inland fish farming and needed backup from the provincial government and NFA.
“Farmers are coming to the fisheries office claiming money to support their fish farms but the right people to write to get the project development funds are the NFA,” he said.
He said farmers misunderstood the concept and kept bothering them and he had photocopied the guidelines and procedures on how they could get funding.
He said he had 100 copies and would distribute 20 to each of the five districts so that there was no confusion in future.
Toap said the department had two vehicles to move staff into the rural areas to visit farmers and see their progress with their projects.
He said to properly support and strengthen inland fish farming, houses for officers would be built in five districts.
Imbonggu and Ialibu-Pangia districts are taking the lead in fish farming and they are now focusing in helping Kagua-Erave, Mendi-Munihu and Nipa-Kutubu districts.
He said the provincial government must step in to support the agricultural activity which was new to the Highlanders.