Commercial farming has been embraced by many farmers in Uganda due to mostly the limitation of fishing on Lake Victoria which has many fishing landing sites and also to meet the market demand for the different species in the country. Some of the benefits that come with fishing in Uganda are it is a source of income to farmers, fish is good for food nutrition, it has reduced unemployment and it is a form of revenue to the government. As you think about starting fish farming in Uganda, below are some of the most important things that you should put into consideration in order to have a profitable fish farming business.
Ideal Land For a Fish Farm in Uganda
This is the first step taken in fish farming. Some of the things that you should consider when choosing the perfect land for constructing the ponds for fish farming include good transportation, enough fresh water supply, well trained labour and the type of soil found in the area. Try choosing land which is big enough for future expansions, avoid polluted areas, choose land which is far away from farm land with crops, avoid land which is not levelled and avoid a site which keeps on flooding. The best land should be a little lower than the water source to allow easy pumping of the water into the ponds and the soil should have at least a little clay in it to help with the water retention.
Selection of the fish species in Uganda
Selection of the fish species depends on the market demand, the location of the farm and the weather. Some of the fish species that can be produced in the country include Tilapia, the African catfish, gold fish, trout and the carp fish. The best species to produce in Uganda is the Tilapia because the market demand is high as compared to the rest of the species. The steps that you need to follow in order to get the best fish species include the following:
Put into consideration the type of foods that the fish will feed on and their availability on the market.
Select fish species that have a fast growth rate
Choose fish species that have a high market demand and can easily adapt to the ever changing weather.
Pond construction and pond design
When you are through with the site selection, the next step is to choose the best pond design and how they are going to be constructed. The type of pond that you choose should be able to be a home to the type of fish that you intend to produce. The different types of fish require different designs in order to grow well and after selecting the fish species, the design will come easily.
The pond design also depends on the number of fish you are to keep. If you are into mass production, then the best pond would be large enough to accommodate all the fish. If not, you can construct several ponds to accommodate the large fish production. After constructing the pond, make sure that you apply the necessary fertilizers before filling it with water.
Management of the fish farms in Uganda
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the fish is well fed throughout their different growth stages until they are taken to the market. Supplementary feeds are a must if you want to have healthy fish and these can be got from the different stores across the country. There are various supplementary feeds that are prepared for the different types of fish for example there are feeds that are specifically made for Tilapia, catfish and other fish species.
If you cannot get the feeds from the market, then you can buy the ingredients and mix them to make the perfect mixture of feeds for the fish. The food should have all the necessary nutrients like vitamins, proteins, energy giving foods and minerals. The fish needs to be fed at specific times and a given quantity which is recommended.
The second thing about management is taking care of the fish ponds. Make sure that the ponds are cleaned and the water changed regularly and check on the quality of the water and the soil regularly in order to make sure that the fish are not negatively affected.
Harvesting the fish
Harvesting of fish depends on the rate of growth and since each fish species grows at a different rate, the harvesting takes place at different stages. The fish need to match the market weight before they are harvested. Harvesting is done by using a net to collect them from the pond before being loaded on refrigerated vans and taken to the market. After harvesting fish from the pond:
Transport it immediately to the market so that the quality does not reduce since fish goes bad easily.
If possible, transport your fish to the nearest market so that you can get the real value out of them. Transporting them to faraway places might reduce their value.
When transporting the fish, separate them according to their size.
There is a wide market for all the different fish species in the country because people in the country eat fish almost on a daily basis. You can easily sell your fish on the local market and also export some to other countries after value addition. Fish farming is a really lucrative business if it is managed well and you need to have passion for it in order to care for the fish properly. You can also hire experts to help with the management of the farm. Once you have done all the above and gotten training for fish farming, you are good to go start your farm and earn big from it.