The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013
INLAND fish farmers in Southern Highlands received K500,000 from the National Fishery Authority last Thursday at the Club Steel in Mendi.
All departmental heads of the agriculture and livestock division in the province, rural inland fish farmers and Southern Highlands deputy administrator attended.
Presenting cheques to farmers, aquaculture and inland fisheries executive manager Jacob Wani said the government was concerned about the country’s food security and had supported many rural farmers.
Wani said inland fish farming was an initiative of the Government, which had pumped K33 million to strengthen fish farming in the country.
He said the Department of Agriculture and Livestock was committed to ensuring the government’s plan to make inland fish farming a major industry in the country was a success.
He said all coastal provinces received K2 million each while all Highlands provinces received K500,000 for extension work.
“This money is for the establishment of a fishery office in the province, to buy stationery, extension support, buy a vehicle and help farmers,” he said.
He said in the past, Eastern Highlands and Chimbu were the only provinces in the Highlands region heavily involved in inland fish farming but now Western Highlands, Enga and Southern Highlands had seen the importance of it.
Southern Highlands’ deputy administrator Jerry David said the provincial government was committed to supporting rural farmers and would do more to promote inland fish farming in the province.
He said people were interested in fish farming and there was a huge demand for fingerlings.
“Inland fish farming is new to the people of the Highlands region; people only know how to look after pigs, which takes years to look after, and when slaughtered, it is eaten in a single day,” he said.
“But fish is a renewable resource that is cheap and easy to breed and has the potential to make families and communities earn a better income,” he said.