WOMEN in areas such as Binga and Kariba have been urged to take fish farming seriously in order to end poverty.
Fish farming expert, Tatenda Benza yesterday told Southern Eye that government should support women engaged in fish farming in areas such as Binga and Kariba to enable them to play a significant role in the fisheries sector and increase their visibility.
“Women need to take fish farming seriously if they are to penetrate all sectors of the economy and end poverty. Women self-help groups and co-operatives should be developed, especially by the government for successful operation and popularisation of fishery activities,” he said.
“Non-governmental organisations should take up various programmes focusing on gender-based issues in aquaculture involving women in diverse activities.”
Benza said the response among small-holder female farmers in both rural and urban areas was pleasing after several of them made inquiries about business ventures.
“The challenge still lies in the technical support aspect of the business. The pie is big for everyone in terms of market for tilapia, carp and catfish, with tilapia being the favourite among farmers as it performs well in most regions in Zimbabwe,” he said.
A survey by the Food and Agricultural Organisation showed that 42% of women in 82 developing countries were engaged in farming.
In fish farming, women are actively involved in production and other activities like catching, cleaning, processing, peeling, drying and marketing.
Women also play a significant role in fish culture activities like pond excavation, feeding, making feed-mix, cleaning ponds and guarding the ponds during day time.
Although women are predominantly involved in the tasks that come before and after the fish are hauled out of the water, they may also be involved in catching or harvesting.
At the artisanal level, their preparatory work includes making and mending nets, baskets and pots, baiting hooks and providing services to fishing boats and cooking for their spouses.
Fish farming thrives in Binga and Kariba in Zimbabwe.