Urban Aquaculture

 

Urbanisation in Africa at this particular point in time seems to be unstoppable as most urban households are taking to backyard fish farming as a means of dietary diversity and subsistence. Research has pegged the rampant urbanisation wave in Africa to be teetering between 8-12% per year. This probably has a lot to do with the early effects of globalisation, the imminent ICTs, the lure of the city lights and the hope to get employment and above all the good hope of a better life. With this growing phenomenon comes problems of high rates of unemployment and related effects, chief among them being the issue of food security.


urban greenhouse

With wild capture fisheries activities seriously depleting the natural resources in both the marine and inland waters, governments are left with fewer options and are now having to seriously consider legalising urban aquaculture and include it in urban planning. Most African cities have no straight forward legal framework for the practice of aquaculture as yet but developments especially in Zimbabwe where there is an active Urban Agriculture Forum, strides are being made to regularise fish farming. The Harare City Council, through its Department of Social Services is now negotiating with cooperatives and interested groups of people who intend to practice sustainable agriculture activities across its wetland areas. With the ever changing economic landscape across the world, together with changing patterns in national and international food markets, ever rising costs of food items and with climate change taking its toll on the agriculture sector, more and more families in African cities are taking to urban aquaculture by the day. In the past, the extremely poor would engage in urban agriculture for livelihood and household food security enhancement but in recent years, as witnessed in Zimbabwe, even the more affluent residents in cities are taking to urban agriculture, aquaculture included. Reasons for this shift vary from dietary requirements, extra-income sources, countering the rising costs of food items to creating powerful backyard agro-industries. 

fish in swiming poolMany residents in our cities worry on whether it is feasible to farm fish in a swimming pool using the city council’s treated water or their own borehole water. Our advise is when you are not too sure always call for experts to have your water tested under laboratory conditions. At Aquaculture Zimbabwe we will help you to culture your water until it is ready for aquatic life. 

 

We are also encouraging residents to organise themselves into formal cooperative groups that can approach town and city councils for wetland spots that can be used for organic fish farming in a sustainable manner that promotes biodiversity and general environmental security.