NATION

Aquaculture Farming Holds Major Promise For The Future

Aquaculture farming has the capacity to produce seafood as demand for fresh fish has put a strain on natural populations in the oceans and there is still a lot of
01 Aug 2016 08:42
Aquaculture Farming Holds Major Promise For The Future

Aquaculture farming has the capacity to produce seafood as demand for fresh fish has put a strain on natural populations in the oceans and there is still a lot of idle land and adequate water resources which can be utilised for aquaculture development.

These were the remarks made by Director Research and Development for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Sanaila Naqali at the closing of a two- day workshop on Tilapia and Prawn Farming at the Nacocolevu Research Station in Nadroga yesterday.

Speaking to the 43 participants who represented their youth groups as well as villages from around the country, Mr Naqali added that Government is supporting programmes such as tilapia and prawn farming which will greatly benefit the individuals and the communities as a whole.

“For Nadroga/Navosa province, we have a total of 32 active farmers of which two are prawn farmers, one grass carp farmer and 29 are tilapia farmers. Demand for tilapia frys from farmers is about 71,165 frys on an annual basis,” he added.

“However, estimated productions from those frys is always a drawback as some of these farmers have little or no knowledge at all on farming of these particular species. That is why you have been selected to enhance your knowledge through this training so that you are able to be more productive when carrying out tilapia or prawn farming,” said Mr Naqali.

“There is a huge demand for fish and prawns in our hotels so tilapia and prawn farmers need to make use of the opportunities that are available locally.”

Participants learned more on site selection for their ponds, proper pond management as well as feeding and care of tilapia and prawns.

Osea Tagicakibau, 19, from Naimalavau, Nakelo in Tailevu was also part of the training programme and said he was grateful to have been selected and learned the various methods and techniques that are needed to be a successful tilapia and prawn farmer.

“We have a fish pond back in the village and with everything that I have learnt for the past two days, I will return home and implement them so that we are able to harvest a good catch,” he smiled.

Tilapia fish often take four to five months before it is fully matured and ready for harvesting. Currently farmers have been selling tilapia at a minimum cost of $7 to $10 per kilogramme.

This is the first aquaculture training programme that has been conducted for farmers this year.

Interested farmers around the country can seek further assistance and advice at their nearest fisheries station.

 

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