Sunday 2024-07-21




By NOKUZOLA THWALA | 2023-06-04

One of the Tilapia fish farmers has made his first harvest since the inception of the project in November.

This was disclosed by Aquaculture Project Manager Andrew Su who said it surely had been a great journey for Taiwan Technical Mission, Eswatini ministry of agriculture as well as Eswatini fish farmers.

He revealed that last year November, the Taiwan Technical Mission in collaboration with ministry of agriculture donated 900 fingerlings to a new fish farmer, Norman Mavuso, located in the Hhohho region under Pine Valley area.

He said Mavuso owned an earth pond which had a total area of 200 m2. A. He also said he was skeptical with giving the farmer fingerlings as his area was very cold, however, they later agreed to stock fingerlings in summer as it is a bit warm.

Su added that he would always visit the fishpond to offer technical assistance every two weeks, where he tested oxygen, temperature and the pH value of water and would advise him as to how to maintain fish pond and control water quality.

Also, he monitored the fish growth by weighing fish and recorded to track fish growth.

“We are very proud as the project stakeholders, this is a great milestone not only for the farmer but for us as well because this is progress that everyone can go and see,” he said. Meanwhile, Mavuso stated that he heard about the aquaculture project through his friend who shared information about the ministry of agriculture and how they were promoting the commercialisation of fish farming. He then did extensive research on the field before deciding to start his project as agriculturalist. He said he had always aspired to be a fish farmer, but the availability of the space and water made it more possible. After receiving fish stock, he said he noted that there were minimal limitations that he experienced but a major challenge was getting the fish feeds, which were not always readily available in the country.


He praised Su for being an instrumental leader. He said he was happy to know that Su would soon start making fish food for Eswatini farmers.

The farmer added another challenge was that since the pond wan’t not protected, birds such as the kingfisher would have access to eating the fish, which was detrimental to the overall stock count. Moreover, he said at the beginning of the project, he used the starter feed for a month. Thereafter, he used the grower feed up until the harvesting stage, having spent approximately E 2 900 in total.

Mavuso added that in the future, he would consider upscaling the production by adding an additional pond, and even using water tanks as an alternative innovation.  Advising farmers and aspiring fish farmers, he said they should invest in fish farming because there was a growing demand in markets for fish in the entire world as fish meat was recommended as a healthy meal.

“What I’ve learnt in this short space of time is that, not much is required to start the process of fish farming. The two important factors are land and reliable water flow. With the land, you can start as small as possible with just a couple of square metres and expand as you grow. Alternatively, water tanks as small as 1 000 litres can get the job done. There is a group that fish farmers have which can be quite helpful and assist young and aspiring fish farmers,” he said.


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