Hindrances to commercialization of fish farming in rural areas: a case study of Mutara Sub County in Bushenyi District
Byaruhanga, Chris Dickson
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The study was conducted in Mutara Sub County of Bushenyi district to investigate hindrances to commercialization of fish farming. Specific objectives were to assess the status of fish farming, investigate major hindrances to commercialization of fish farming and to assess possible intervention measures. A questionnaire, Key interviews, observation and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect data. Geographical locations of selected fish ponds for the study were mapped using a hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Fish farming significantly contributes to the welfare of fish farmers as a source of income and food. However, fish farming in Mutara Sub County is practiced at a subsistence level. Results from this study indicate that 12% of fish farmers earn income from the sale of cultured fish while 88% of fish farmers are culturing fish for their home consumption. Among the major constraints hindering commercialization of fish farming in Mutara Sub County was lack of access to superior fish seed species. Besides limited variety of fish species grown in the area, 91% of the fish farmers can not access enough fish fry. Limited access to improved fish feeds compounded with lack of funds to purchase the improved fish seeds are found hindering progress toward commercialization of fish faming in Mutara Sub County. Further more, lack of credit facilities was reported a significant set back. Providing support for expansion of rural financial sector, training rural farmers in intensive appropriate techniques of commercial fish farming, promoting local fish seed production in hatcheries and local fish feed production using locally available materials would promote commercial fish farming in the area of study.