By Stephen Ephraem
A development partner, World Vision which is operating in Manicaland Province’s six districts of Chipinge, Chimanimani, Nyanga, Mutasa, Makoni and Buhera is empowering refuges and asylum seekers at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge to be self reliant.
World Vision is spearheading a livelihood intervention program in the refugee camp which seeks to empower beneficiaries by embarking on an income generation project of fish farming.
Speaking during a tour of Tongogara Refugee Camp recently, Mr Joel Bizure of World Vision told delegates that the development partner injected a tune of US$15 000 towards fish farming.
“The initial investment is estimated at US$15 00 which include US$6 700 used in construction and renovations of two fish ponds measuring 50m by 20m each. US$8 300 was used to purchase 12 000 fingerlings as well as purchasing 310 bags of fish feed.
“The investment was seed money for the fish feed and pond renovation. Farmers are expected to plough the money from sales back into the fish business so that the project keeps on going. That is why we are capacitating the farmer through training,” he said.
According to the development partner, the refugees are expected to earn at least US$36 000 from the fish farming project.
“Fish farmers are expected to produce 12 000 fish per cycle. Mature fish shall be sold at six months according to weight between 1kg and 2kg whilst fingerlings below 70 will be kept as breeding stock used for fish production.
“Fish will be weighed and sold according to the weights and standards that meet the market requirements. Fish shall be sold between US$3 and US$4 per kg. With a stock of 12 000 fish, US$36 000 is guaranteed,” said Bizure.
The World Vision officer indicated that the refugee fishery project supports fifty fish farmers and will continuously receive training mainly through World Vision supported programs and technical partners such as Agriculture and Extension Services (Agritex) and Veterinary Services.