The fish farming sector in Uganda is important in terms of employment, wealth creation and foreign exchange earnings. Fish farming is one of the major economic activities that the country has and has potential that it will become one of the best resources for Uganda in terms of food security and income generation. Uganda, which has a population of close to 40 million people needs to have at least 10kg per person per year and this is almost impossible in the current situation because fish has drastically reduced in numbers.
Fish consumption helps to generate omega3 in the human body. However, there is increased malnutrition of fish that is attributed to its high prices. There is a lot of malnutrition among children in Uganda because much of fish is being used to make fish meal which is used in making chicken and fish feeds. Fish ponds provide large area for evaporation and also contain mosquito larvae for fish to eat.
ARU has set up a fish pond to enable ARU students to have hands-on experience in fish farming and observe its viability. This will enable students to transfer the knowledge and skills to the communities when they go for one-month field practicum, one-year internship in year 4 and later when they go to work as Epicenter Managers.
The fish pond will also be an awakening demonstration to the people of Kagadi District and Bunyoro region that things can be done.
Mr. Nyamutale Placid, an expert in fish farming and a researcher at ARU said that the fish pond will also enhance research at ARU and in the region especially in fish farming. The entire process right from setting up the pond to harvesting fish, is being documented. A research paper will be published in the due course.
Placid said that the fish pond is 5 meters by 10 meters and will accommodate 250 Tilapia fish. He added that tilapia fish are preferred because they very adaptable and can survive even in poor-quality water or overcrowded conditions. They grow quickly, so they are a popular choice for farming.