11 Apr, 2018

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Dr. Marina Gebert from and LUANAR staff working in the solar hatchery
The Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Department with the help of partners from Germany on Monday, 9th April 2018, completed installation of a solar hatchery at Bunda Fish Farm. It is envisaged that the solar hatchery will boost the production of fries (tiny fish) and it will also help when there is Escom power outage.

Principal investigator at the Department, Dr. Daud Kassam, said due to intermittent Escom power supply, many fries used to die due to low supply of oxygen in the hatchery hence the decision to have a solar powered hatchery.

“Many fries used to die due to lack of oxygen supply in the other hatchery because of frequent blackouts. We decided to come up with a solar hatchery that would ease the problem,” he said.

Construction of the hatchery started on 26th March this year in collaboration with German partners under a project called ‘Improving Community Health-Nutrition linkages through Solar energy based Fish and crop integrated value chains – Ichliebefisch (I love fish), and its main focus is on the production of Oreochromis Karongae (real Chambo).

Dr. Kassam said they would like to produce more fingerlings of Chambo, which they will be distributing to farmers in Nkhotakota and Mchinji in Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture (IAA) systems.

“We are working with farmers in Nkhotakota and Mchinji under IAA. We supply fingerlings and vegetable seeds to these farmers. Our objective is to improve the nutrition and socio-economic status of these farmers.” He said.

Dr. Kassam went further to say that the project is bringing aquaponics unit, in which farmers will be growing vegetables in water where there is also fish. They plan to construct a green house on some fish ponds at Bunda fish farm to control temperature rate.

Apart from improving the community health-nutrition and socio-economic status, the project is also funding MSc students on full scholarship.