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Women outnumber men in fish farming. (Photo: ag.auburn.edu/Stock File/FIS)

Fish farming cooperatives produce successful results

Monday, March 26, 2012, 03:50 (GMT + 9)

Women outnumber their male counterparts in the fish farming industry – and these women have formed over 155 cooperatives across Rwanda, said Dr Wilson Rutaganira, Coordinator of Integrated Installation and Interior Lakes Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. These groups have been successfully raising tilapia for harvest.

"The total number of members involved in the project is 57,652 and 37,100 of that number are women, while 27,031 are men. The biggest number of men is practising fishing at the lakes. The women are more involved in fish farming," Rutaganira elaborated.

"It is through these cooperatives that resources are directly delivered by the coordinating office, thus making the work of the fish farming project easier," he added, The New Times reports.

The aquaculture cooperative in Gasabo District (Copamaga) consists of 22 members, eight of them women. The cooperative runs more than 10 fishponds with nearly 15,000 tilapia.

Costatine Mujawayezu, the treasurer for Copamaga, said the fish take six months to grow and will be harvested in a month.

She noted that the fishponds vary in size from 50 by 25 sqm to 20 by 25 sqm and that the number of fish in each pond varies depending on its size.

The cooperative also rears rabbits in houses built above the fishponds and uses the litter to enhance the tilapia’s feed.

"The rabbit litter is nutritious for the fish. Rabbit litter supplements the manure and other food complements that the fish feed on. With proper and nutritious feeding, the fish grow bigger in a shorter time," Mujawayezu explicated.

The Integrated Installation and Interior Lakes Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) facilitates most of the cooperative's activities.

Female members say their participation in the cooperative is empowering both economically and socially, as harvesting improves the welfare of their families and helps fight malnutrition in the community.

By Natalia Real
[email protected]


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