ZAMBIA – Zambia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has terminated a partnership with the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF), which was meant to establish an aqua park fisheries center.

According to reports by Zambian Business Times, the government has put a stop to the project on allegations that ZCF had not delivered on their end of the agreement since the signing of the memorandum of understanding one year ago.

The aqua park was meant to feature fish ponds, fish processing plants, fish feed making machines and necessary implements for expanding fish production.

Fish consumption in Zambia is low at 5.9 kg per capita.

Angered Fisheries Minister, Professor Nkandu Luo said, “I just want to express my utmost disappointment with the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF), who came to our Ministry to partner with us.

“It’s been over 1 year now, since we signed a Memorandum of Understanding and this is my third time being to this site just to find that there is nothing that is happening on the ground.”

Prof Luo indicated that the ministry cannot accept such kind of arrangement and has with immediate effect cancelled their partnership with ZCF.

“Definitely the ministry cannot accept to be in such kind of arrangement and I’m calling upon ZCF to just know that this partnership is over,” she said.

Despite the set back met on the project, mid this year the Ministry approved 736 aquaculture project business loan applications valued at over K118.3 million (US$5.9m), funded through the Aquaculture Seed Fund.

The Aquaculture Seed Fund aims to boost aquaculture business investment in the country and eliminate the national deficit in fish production, contribute to economic growth, as well as increase food and nutrition security in Zambia by 2022.

This initiative is within the framework of the US$50.89 million Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project co-financed by the African Development Bank and the Zambian Government.

According to World Fish Center, the country’s total fish production is just over 100,000metric tons, of which around 85,000 metric tons comes from fisheries.

The aquaculture sector, which is still in its infancy, contributes around 30,000 metric tons (27% of total fish production).

Fish consumption in the country is low at 5.9 kg/person/year. The major cause of low fish consumption is lack of production, hence the need for increased efforts to farm fish.

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