The National –Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
AN aquaculture project at Yuai village on the northern outskirts of Kundiawa town is gaining momentum in the Highlands region.
It has so far supplied super tilapia and common carp to most of the local markets and has already distributed 3.5 million fingerlings throughout the Highlands region and to Erap in Morobe.
Operator of Mandai-Mongo Super Tilapia and Common Carp Siwi Kuman said he started the project in 1999 from an old fish pond in his back yard.
He said the pond was built by a pioneer civil engineer worked on the construction of the early Highlands Highway in the 1960s.
“Our efforts were recognised by the National Fisheries Authorities (NFA) which provided technical assistance with the support of Chimbu provincial division of primary industry, agriculture and fisheries.
“Japanese International Cooperation Agency and NFA supported us with tanks, pipes and other necessary equipment for the fish farm.
“We also hosted high profile trainings for inland fish farmers,” Kuman said.
The training was conducted by Dr Paul Smith of Australia Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) for a week in 2008.
Siwi said they were considering introducing aquaculture to schools, adding that they wanted to kick off the project at the Kundiawa Day High School and Kondiu Secondary School.
Senior officer with NFA, Jacob Wani visited Mandai-Mongo Super Tilapia and Common Carp project site at Yuai village in 2006 and officially declared the project as hatchery and distribution centre for inland super tialapia and common carp.
Fingerlings are on sale for 50t as the concentration was now on breeding and distributions.
Siwi said that the only problem facing inland fish farmers was the lack of fish feeds.