Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rwanda: Local Women Gaining From Fish Farming

It is not only in the Rwandan parliament that women outnumber their male counterparts but also in other areas, such as fish farming.

With this whole month dedicated to every woman and girl in Rwanda, women are showcasing their potential in different sectors of the country.

In an interview with The New Times, Dr. Wilson Rutaganira, Coordinator of Integrated Installation and Interior Lakes Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, said that there are more women in fish farming than men.

"The total number of members involved in the project is 57,652 and 37,100 of that number are women, while 27,031 are men. The biggest number of men is practicing fishing at the lakes. The women are more involved in fish farming," Dr. Rutaganira reveals.

He further explains that these members formed over 155 cooperatives accross the country.

"It is through these cooperatives that resources are directly delivered by the coordinating office, thus making the work of the fish farming project easier," Dr. Rutaganira acknowledges.

The cooperative of fish farming in Gasabo District (Copamaga) which is situated in Mulindi town, is made up of 22 members, eight of them women. The cooperative has over 10 fishponds of fish with close to 15,000 Tilapia being reared.

According to Costatine Mujawayezu, the treasurer for Copamaga, the fish will be harvested in a months' time.

"The fish take six months to grow. The species of the fish we are rearing is tilapia and we start rearing it when it's 30 grams. The tilapia is big enough to be harvested at the weight of 1 kilogramme," Mujawayezu explains.

She further said that their fishponds vary in size; some are 50 by 25 square meters or 20 by 25 square meters.

"The number of fish in each pond varies depending on the size of the pond. When the fish grows, it reproduces. We are planning to start selling young fish to people who want to start fish farming," she discloses.

Besides fish, the cooperative also rears rabbits. The houses are built above the fishponds.

"The rabbit litter is nutritious for the fish. Rabbit litter supplements the manure and other food compliments that the fish feed on. With proper and nutritious feeding, the fish grow bigger in a shorter time," Mujawayezu explains.

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