Our work

 

 

A Building resilience to shocks

 

Building resilience to shocks in drought prone arid to semi-arid areas of the southern low-veld of Zimbabwe requires innovation and deep understanding of the competing uses of water sources. Taking advantage of infrastructure already in place at small irrigation scheme such as water overnight storage facilities and also additions such as plastic lined earthen ponds makes innovative use of water before it is finally used for irrigating traditional cropping and gardening activities. Having fish in the ponds and water overnight storages may be equated to having cash in the bank which can be withdrawn whenever need arises. Tilapia fish that is mostly being kept has a ready market in all the communities and demand far outstrips supply.


 

 

Rural community based aquaculture enterprise development

 

Strengthening the fish production capacity of rural community based freshwater aquaculture enterprises involves practical trainings on the basics of sustaining economically viable fish growth rates. One of the pillars of attaining viability in fish farming is adequate and appropriate feed management knowledge. Post harvesting handling and links to both local/rural and urban often lucrative markets is critical.

 

 

The rural fish farmers are often accompanied to the urban markets and linked to various organizations that work with small and medium enterprises particularly those based in the rural areas. Such organizations include agricultural banks, microfinance houses, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Department of Livestock Production and Development. As part of preparing the farmers for meaningful interaction with these organizations, training workshop are often held in business management, record keeping/basic financial literacy, loans and credit management and marketing. These four areas are critical in the success of the community based freshwater aquaculture enterprises



 

Inclusion and ownership of livelihood sources


The establishment of fish ponds and other fish production infrastructure requires a dedicated and well organized community that, with the guidance from our experts, can arrange and allocate work in a way that complements other activities such as cropping and livestock rearing. While construction of ponds is labour intensive when done in a semi mechanised way, it gives the community an opportunity to share development goals while working together on projects that will be in use for many years to come. Physically participating in the construction, stocking and taking care of the fish enables both women and man to carefully plan their work in order to maximise on agricultural integration opportunities that comes with fish farming without neglecting their traditional roles. Ownership of the productive assets created (ponds) is unquestionable when members participate and the work suits their lifestyles.



 

 

  • Economic strengthening of vulnerable households
  • Improving food availability and diversifying sources of income for vulnerable households that are mostly labour endowed easily becomes a reality when applied in the context of integrated agriculture aquaculture. Out of the pond, a household has opportunities to harvest fish either for consumptive purposes or for selling in the local market whenever the need arises. Having fish therefore saves unplanned disposal of vital assets such as draft power that is critical in cereal production. Moreover, the water that has been cultured and fed for the purposes of creating ideal conditions for fish will also be used for gardening thereby increasing productivity.
  • Safe guarding and protection of perennial water sources