Lack of fingerings, feed and climate change are major factors affecting fish production in the country, with fish farmers, especially in the Northern Region, urging Capital Hill to come to their rescue.
Stanford Fulamchenga, a fish farmer from Mpamba in Nkhata Bay, said in an interview that due to lack of feed manufacturing in Malawi, he is forced to produce feed, that leads to slow growth of the protein source.
Fulamchenga, who produces six tonnes of fish a year, has to chase markets, and mostly sells the commodity to vendors and individuals at very low prices.
“I have 2.5 hectares of a fish farm, but do not have a steady market, so I only wish that government facilitates that we form regional associations that would easily help us get markets,” he said.
Fulamchenga is one of the farmers who were groomed by World Vision Malawi to venture into commercial farming.
Mzuzu-based fish farmer Dodoi Mwangonde said the problems arise because the country does not have many fish seed (fingering) producers and farmers are instead producing fingerings, a situation which reduces quality of fish.
Mwangonde also stressed the need for the country to start stocking exotic breeds, rather than the current indigenous breeds. Department of Fisheries chief fisheries extension officer Alban Pulaizi admitted that supply of fingerings does not currently meet demand from farmers.