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Freetown, July 18 (SLENA): Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture experts from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources have concluded the process of stocking fingerlings (baby fish) into twelve fish ponds recently constructed in the Kono and Koinadugu Disticts with support from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The stocking of fingerlings followed a period when the ponds were filled with water and left to bloom natural fertilsation for a period of three weeks.
Speaking at the Ministry of Fisheries fish farming experimental station in Bo where the fingerlings were also collected, preserved and conveyed to various fish farming sites, the National Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Coordinator, Karmoba Dabo said the process was in fulfillment of his ministry and FAO’s desire to reduce the pressure on captured fisheries, provide household incomes, employment and alternative source of livelihood for non coastal communities in the country.
Mr. Dabo expressed optimism that the newly constructed ponds stocked with over eight thousand fingerlings will serve their intended purposes provided they are well managed by the beneficiaries. He admonished the beneficiary communities to pay attention to the growth rate and sex of the fingerlings to ensure an encouraging production and harvest.
A field Supervisor from the Ministry of Fisheries, Osman Kamara who spoke about the production and management of fish ponds, thanked FAO for their support, especially in the area of providing fish feeds and capacity building.
He called on FAO to assist the ministry and the University of Sierra Leone in the area of research and formulation of fish feeds. Mr. Kamara also appealed for the rehabilitation of the Regional fish farming station and ponds in Bo. (Photo: MFMR staff collecting fingerlings in Bo)
The field supervisor in charge of Koinadugu Distict, Alusine Bundu who supervised the collection of fingerlings from the Makali fish farming station in the Northern Province, assured that if well cultured, the fish species, especially Tilapia will be ready for harvest within three to four months.
Secretary General of the Kankalan Agricultural Business Centre in Malaforia, Koinadugu District, Foday Marrah expressed delight over what he termed an unprecedented development initiative implemented in their area and was confident that it would alleviate hunger in the District. He called for the expansion of the ponds to enable the project benefit a god number of people in the region.
A representative of the women in Gbane, Ngandorhun, Kono District, Madam Yaye Momo, thanked Government and FAO for their timely intervention. On behalf of her compatriots she promised to put into practice experience gained during a recent training in fish farming so as to make the project a flagship in their district.
She underscored the importance of Agriculture as their main source of livelihood and appreciated government and FAO’s desire to provide them an alternative source of livelihood.
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