UGANDA – The Government of Uganda is constructing a 10 million Euros (US$11.4m) Mwena Aquaculture Park, under the ‘Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Aquaculture’ (PESCA) aimed at enhancing aquaculture development and management in the country.
The project is being constructed by Engpro International, a local Engineering Company in Uganda to serve both Apac and Kalangala Districts in pond and cage farming, reports Kilimo News.
It will incorporate 81 Fish ponds, an Office block, a feeds store, a Hatchery for Nile perch and Catfish with a capacity of producing 5 million fingerlings annually and road works construction.
The Minister of State for Fisheries, Honorable Hellen Adoa noted that the project will help boost the fish harvests in the country and create employment opportunities for both women and youths.
Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, the Commissioner Aqua Culture Development and Management at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries revealed that a feasibility study was conducted in 2012 with support from the European Union and has a gender balance complaint multiplier effect in the Social Economic transformation of the population and the country.
According to the Ugandan Ministry of Finance report, fish imports into the country amounted to US$13m (Shs50b) for the year ended December 2019.
In the same period, according to Bank of Uganda, the country exported fish worth US$176m (Shs670.7b) mainly in frozen, chilled or smoked form.
The fisheries sector continues to be an important social and economic driver, leaping other sectors to become Uganda’s second largest foreign exchange earner with a 2.6 per cent GDP and 12 per cent to agricultural GDP.
In other related news, the government is constructing regional mechanization centers in Buwama – Mpigi district (Central Region), Agwata – Dokolo district (Northern Region), Kiryandongo district and Mbale district.
In addition, they will host trained operators and Senior Agricultural Engineers whose role is to provide advisory, servicing and maintenance as well as coordination with the farmer groups.