Keetmanshoop fish farm branching out

09 Jul 2013 05:10
KEETMANSHOOP, 09 JUL (NAMPA) - The Fonteintjie Community Fish Farm at Keetmanshoop is developing fast, and community members are regaining an interest in taking the project further by volunteering their services.
This project was introduced in 2006 by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and is being run by the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency Office.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, Project Manager Peter Simasiku said 200 egg-laying chickens were introduced last month to maximise the production of food, and generate more income.
The project is aimed at providing food and employment to the community of Keetmanshoop as they occasionally receive free vegetables, fish and eggs.
?We have managed to raise money from selling the vegetables we grow here, and bought 10 geese, which we will also start farming with. The chickens have already started laying eggs which, for now, we are just giving to the volunteers who work for us,? Simasiku said.
One chicken can lay about three eggs per day, which means that roughly 600 eggs are collected per day.
Simasiku noted that in addition to the Tilapia fish species they breed, which is distributed to the community or sold during harvests every year, 4 000 catfish were also introduced to the project in January this year.
The project manager said he is very confident that the project will generate a good income when they start selling eggs, cat fish and oranges from trees planted in January this year.
?The orange trees are still to bear fruit, but our vegetable plots for cabbages, tomatoes and spinach are doing very well. Now, with the manure from the chicken coop, we can produce even more vegetables to feed our needy people,? he stated.
Two women are employed on a contract basis to clean the ponds, water the vegetables and feed the chickens, and they work alongside the 12 volunteers who have rejoined the project after they left last year.
Simasiku explained that the volunteers left the project because they expected to be paid, but when they realised how the project is growing, they returned and are now committed to work on the project, and are satisfied with the little they get from it.
?I want to encourage our unemployed people to start helping with the project. They must not expect payment because it is a community project, and it is still a baby. Let?s work and produce food for ourselves,? he added.