The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
By ZACHERY PER
SIMBU Inland Fish Farmers Cooperative Association (SIFFCA) has opened a new office in Kundiawa, Chimbu.
Fisheries cooperative coordinator Presley Kokwaiye, who is touring the highlands inland fish farming areas, was given the chance to open the office in the presence of fish farmers.
The new office will assist more than 30,000 registered inland fish farmers in the province to access funding and other benefits.
While opening the office, Kokwaiye said Chimbu had an organised fish farmers’ cooperative with registered members qualified to access funding from the National Government and other agencies.
He acknowledged that earlier funding of K200,000 and K500,000 from the National Fisheries Authority that were put into good use to assist the farmers.
“Chimbu is now advancing on to open new office to separately run the affairs in-land fish farming which demonstrates the seriousness of cultivating fish in the Highlands,” he said.
He said fisheries activities were considered something belonged to the coastal provinces, but Chimbu, despite being riddled with rugged terrains, got into serious business doing inland fisheries activities, therefore the Government would continue to give funding priority.
Kokwaiye thanked provincial fishery officer Chris Mondo and his team for working hard towards having a separate office.
Mondo said the days of operating out of office with volunteers was over, now that they had their own office, they would work hard to get more help and benefits for the farmers in the province, the production of more than 30,000 inland fish farmers were slowly going out to the open markets.
He said the Government should now start to secure markets for the farmers as production was starting to flow.