OKANGOROROSA - A 76-year-old pensioner from Okangororosa in Oshikoto Region says he chose to venture into fish farming over a shebeen, because bars were mushrooming all over.
Instead, he wanted to start up something that would bring food on the table for many, in an effort to alleviate hunger.
Immanuel Shali Johannes started the fish farm in January 2018, from a dam in his mahangu field, after years of collecting rainwater. He began with 2000 juvenile fish, and in November, with support from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, he had his first harvest. Johannes says he made about N$3000 after selling. Although he argues that the amount could have been higher, if the public was better informed. Fish is a source of Protein and Vitamin D, which is good for the body and brain. Johannes is farming Tilapia fish.
“I did not want to open a bar, because everyone was operating one, thus I had to be diverse. Rather I needed something to bring food considering that we are facing a droughts which will likely lead to food shortage,” reiterated Johannes, saying the idea of a fish farm was born after having researched and observed from other individuals having similar projects. According to Johannes, the dam was dug out between 2012 and 2013. Initially he wanted to harvest water just to secure for his animals during dry seasons. It was later, Johannes who is also a subsistence and livestock farmer realised he could just do more than just preservation.
“In January this year, the Ministry of Fisheries came to put about 2700 fish species, mind you the fish did not finish during the previous harvest, thus the population could be more. They are further assisting me with technical skills and come to inspect the pond and assess whether the water is not contaminated, as well as the health and growth of the fish,” added the inexperienced farmer, stating that he feeds the fish twice a day. According to the aquaponicsource.com, just one female will typically produce about 200-1000 eggs per spawn, and she will spawn every 4-5 weeks or so if conditions are favourable enough.
He anticipates the next harvest to be between August and October.
In addition, Johannes, whose vast part of his field lies idle, plans to excavate another dam that he will use for irrigation.
“The biggest challenge we have is water scarcity, although I am planning to have another dam excavated which I will use for animal drinking, and irrigation of crops. If this goes through I will also venture into horticulture, before doing that I will seek for scientific support from expatriates on what suitable crops or vegetable are good for the soil,” said the unwavering pensioner, who is being assisted by his grandchildren.
The pensioner is optimistic the dam will not completely dry out, hence ruling out the fact that the project might fail as it only depends on collected rainwater.
2019-03-13 09:38:12 6 months ago