By Felix Matasva Manicaland Correspondent
MUTARE: 50 women in Arda Transau are set to benefit from a fish farming project being spearheaded by Youth Development Initiative Trust (YDIT) with a view to improving food security and income generation within the peri-urban setting.
Arda Transau is a sprawling government farm located in Odzi of Manicaland province, about 24 kilometers west of Mutare.
The farm now consists of internally displaced persons who were relocated from Chiadzwa to pave way for the largest diamond field.
Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are bankrolling the fish farming project on a budget pegged at USD 50 000.
The YDIT director Nicholas Marange told NewZimbabwe.com that the project is going to kick-start in December 2021.
“This project will Empower 50 women with 10m×10m×1,5m fish ponds with 1500 Tilapia fingerlings. The beneficiaries will also participate in environmental conservation activities including afforestation, gully reclamation, and protection of wetlands. We expect an increase in economic independence, food consumption score, sustainable income generation, and improved ecosystem,” Marange said.
The youth-led organisation’s director added: ” The project has got two components including fish farming and environmental conservation. We will train the first batch of 25 women and later on the remaining 25. Aqua City will be responsible for training and providing all the equipment. After 6 months YDIT will then link villagers with emerging markets for selling their fish.”
Aqua City (a provider of fish farming services and equipment) director Lennon Kunzekutema said tilapia species is advantageous for Arda Transau villagers since it is easy to farm.
“Tilapia can survive in any condition excluding extreme cold weather. If there is dirty in the pond and or water is not changed the specie cannot easily die compared to other fish. We will provide technical support through the mobile app, fish fingerlings, plastic damlimers, and feeds or recommend another supplier,” he said.
“As Aqua City, we will provide the market whereby we will buy back at USD 2 per kg. They are also free to find other markets besides us,” said Kunzekutema urging YDIT to help establishment a fish restaurant for Arda Transau villagers.