KIGALI - The Integrated Installation and Interior Lakes Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) is investing Rwf 600 million to promote the fishing industry.
Stephanie Kamondo, the Officer in charge of Acquaculture and Fisheries at the Rwanda Animal Resources Development (RARDA) says that her project is cordinating with PAIGELAC to purchase fish that would be distributed all over the country’s water bodies.
“AS RARDA, our budget for the 2010 fishing project is around Rwf 5.6 million but PAIGELAC, which is our partner in this venture is investing Rwf 600 million to purchase three million fingerlings.
Kamondo said that between 2008 to April 2010, 148,494 fishilings were purchased by RARDA to a tune of 26.7 million.
She explained that in February 2010, 3,500 were bought from neighboring Uganda amounting to Rwf 17.5 million; targeting the fishponds of Kanyonyomba, Rulindo and Kigembe.
“What we tried to do was to purchase fish that would reproduce. So far, the 3,500 we bought from Uganda have multipled to 20,000 as we speak,” she said
PAIJELAC on its part managed to purchase 17,000 fishlings from Uganda amounting to Rwf 8.4 million.
Dr. Theogene Rutagwenda, the Director of RARDA told The New Times in a separate interview that in 2009, Rwanda imported 45,000 tilapia fingerlings from Uganda to replenish Lakes Muhazi and Cyohoha.
Dr. Rutagwenda said that initially, the fishes were propagated and the they grew but when it came to fishing, the locals used poor methods thus fishing even then the fishlings.
He however explained that todate there were rules and regulations that regulate fishing hours and the methods of fishing among others.
So far, 98.118 fishlings were locally produced and later planted in Rushashi, Rusumo,Nkungu,Karubanda,Kamonyi and Rwamagana swamps and fish ponds bringing the fish imports down by 11 percent.
Available information indicates that the first harvest was registered in Cyohoha where 223 kilograms were harvested. Of these, 166 were of tilapia and 57 of claries.
Dr. Rutagwenda said that the target is to cultivate fish in all water bodies in Rwanda and make the country fish-sufficient. At least 127 hectares of ponds are expected to be dug up all over the country to support this venture.