Friday, September 8, 2017

Fish Harvest: Epalela Fish Farm: 24 August 2017



Epalela Fish farm hosted a fish harvest for the public on Thursday, 24 August 2017. The event was attended by droves of  community members and other distinguished guests who wanted to buy fresh fish. The event was organised by staff of the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) from Onavivi and Ongwediva Inland Aquaculture Centers. More than 7 ton fish was harvested (7, 430 ton tilapia and 75kg catfish), processed and sold to the public.

Master of Ceremony, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources

Proceedings were led by Dr. Moses Marihungirire, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources as Director of Ceremonies. Honourable Dr. Chief Ankama delivered the main address. In his address Hon. Ankama passionately talked about the current state of aquaculture. He brought several of the local fish farmers to the front to showcase them as  an example of successful fish farmers and encouraged further steps to uplift the production potential of aquaculture by local farmers. He also encouraged integrated production with crops and livestock to further improve profitability of such ventures.

Hon. Chief Ankama, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources with some of  the fish farmers in the north
Mr. Renier Burger, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries during the Vote of Thanks explained that the  focus of our fish farms has moved from merely producing fish to becoming research demonstration facilities, whereby the focus is on research to improve the economic viability of aquaculture. In this case production is merely a function of research with the purpose to achieve the lowest possible production cost with highest possible yield. This research oriented approach resulted in Epalela fish farm achieving an internationally recognized Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) of 1.57:1 (1.57 to 1) during 2013/14 from previous FCR’s of way over 2.5:1 (2.5:1). This means that only 1.57kg of fish feed is needed to produce 1kg of fish as opposed to more than 2.5kg of fish feed to produce the same amount of fish and represent a massive decrease in production cost. Fish feed constitutes about 70% of the production cost of fish with a gravity flow system as we have at Epalela. The current feed price (2017) from Zambia is N$9/kg FOB Livingstone. With transport the feed is landed at Onavivi at a total cost of N$10,46/kg (N$1,46/kg). Thus the production cost of the fish harvested during this event could be as low as N$23, 46/kg (FCR 1.57:1) He further stated that the depletion of the inland fishery resource (Zambezi, Kavango Rivers) resulted in a shortages of popular bream species at the open fish markets resulting in an increase in the price of these species to over N$50/kg. There is therefore huge scope for commercial investment in freshwater aquaculture as we are now in a situation whereby there will be sufficient return on investment for the industry to proliferate at a selling price of N$50 and above. There is also much potential for the development of a niche market for local tilapia, which is one of the tastiest fishes around.

Mr. Oliver Numbwa from Onavivi IAC then guided the proceedings of the harvest, processing and a lunch served with fresh fish amongs others

Fish being harvested with Dr. Moses maurihungirire looking on


Hon. Dr. Chief Ankama visiting the processing facility
Albertina from Ongwediva IAC assisting with Lunch

Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre visited by Hon. Minister, Esau: 19 August 2017

Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre
Honourable Berhard Esau (MP), Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources visited Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre on Saturday, 19 August 2017 as part of his scheduled programme visiting MFMR fish farms in the south of Namibia  from 16 to 19 August 2017. He was accompanied by Honourable Esme Isaack, Governor of Hardap Region. Hardap staff hosted Hon. Esau and Isaacks to a very tasty braai of Hardap IAC tilapia. 


Processing of tilapia at Hardap IAC
Hon. Esau congratulated staff on a clean and well functioning fish farm that looks very professional. He encouraged staffmembers to continue in the same spirit to promote the mandate of the Directorate aquaculture and Inland Fisheries and the MFMR at large. Hon. Isaack enjoyed the braai and exposure to the staff so much that she want it to become a quarterly event.


Hon. Esau and Hon Isaack (Governor of Hardap Region) with her husbnd and Mr. Burger and Ms. Tjihuiko enjoying the tasty freshly barbequed tilapia prepared by Hardap IAC staff
Hardap IAC staff celebrating Hon. Esau's visit and good report.

Well done Hardap IAC staff...!!!

Fonteintjie Fish Farm visited by Honourable Minister Bernhard Esau: 17 August 2017

Fonteintjie fish farm still under construction
New under-roof aquaculture production ponds still under construction
Hon. Esau discussing the construction delays with Mr. Simasiku, Hon Lucia Basson Governor of Karas Region and Hon. Hilma Nicanor, Deputy Minister of veterans' Affairs and the Champion of the establishment of Fonteintjie Fish Farm.

Report by: De Wet Siluka and RD Burger
Hon. Bernhard Esau (MP), Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) visited Fonteintjie Fish Farm in Keetmanshoop on Thursday, 17 August 2017. He was accompanied by the Hon. Lucia Basson (Governor of Kharas Region), Hon. Hilma Nicanor (Deputy Minister of veterans' Affairs and the Champion of the establishment of Fonteintjie Fish Farm), and a delegation from //Karas Regional Council. MFMR staff that accompanied Hon. Esau was Mr. Renier Burger (Deputy Director: Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries), Ms Unda Tjihuiko and Ms. Kalenasho from Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre along with Mr Simasiku (MFMR Keetmanshoop Office). Mr. Simasiku guided the delegation through the old section of the farm and then through the uncompleted facility still under construction.

Hon. Esau expressed his deepest concern with the continuous delay in the completion of this aquaculture facility supposed to have already being producing fish for the community. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources already paid for the facility in full and are now delayed by other role players.

The orchard and old ponds at the facility is taken good care of by the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries staff based in Keetmanshoop under the leadership of Mr. Simasiku.

Old production facility at Fonteintjie Fish Farm
Mr. Simasiku showcasing an example of the Oreochromis mossambicus tilapia produced in the old ponds at Fonteintjie

Leonardville Fish Farm visited by Honourable Minister Bernhard Esau: 16 August 2017



Honourable Bernard Esau (MP), Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources at Leonardville Fish Farm with Mr. Burger (KIFI) and Unda Tjihuiko (Hardap IAC)

Report by: De Wet Siluka and R. Burger
Hon. Bernhard Esau (MP) Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources visited fish farms of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) in the south from 16-19 August 2017. His first stop was at the newly inaugurated Leonardville Fish Farm on Wednesday, 16 August 2017. Honourable Esau inspected the facility and observed progress made since the inauguration of the facility. He was accompanied by Hon. Pio Nganate (the Advisor to the Governor of Omaheke Region), Mr Ishmael Awaseb (Acting CEO of Leonardville Village Council) as well as staff members from the MFMR and Leonardville Village Council. The delegation met the fish farm staff at the facility and was accompanied by the Deputy Director for Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, Mr Burger and the Chief Fisheries Biologist of Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre (HIAC), Ms UndaTjihuiko. Mr. Joseph Shapenga guided the delegation around the facility.

Main office building of Leonardville Fish Farm with the processing, freezing and dispach unit next to it (left)

Hon. Bernhard Esau discussing production potential of the farm with the staff and Pio Nganate (Advisor to the Governor of Omaheke Region) and Mr Ishmael Awaseb (Acting CEO of Leonardville Village Council)

Hon. Bernhard Esau expressed happiness towards the progress made at the farm and the investment of the MFMR in the economy of Leonardville in terms of food security and job creation. He also highlighted the spin-off of technology develop at this fish farm as a demonstration to potential investors who want to venture in freshwater aquaculture in the region. He encouraged MFMR staff at the farm to actively engage in extension to promote aquaculture in the Hardap and Omaheke regions. The Hon. Minister expressed happiness with the growth off al-male Oreochromis mossambicus tilapia that was observed as a trail in one of the ponds. The hot house covering was very effective in increasing water temperature of the production ponds and thereby improved growth of the fish. Hon. Minister encouraged staff to do proper trails with effective record keeping in order to establish production cost and feasibility of aquaculture using the technology available on the farm. 

Situated at Leonardville, the Fish Farm has six (6) ponds with the capacity to produce 7000 fish/pond with two production cycles/pond/year possible. The farm thus has a minimum production potential of (14000 fish/pondx6) 84000 Tilapia per annum. Fish will be harvested at 400g/fish thus reflecting a production potential of 33.6 ton/year (two production cycles). If water temperature can be controlled with the hothouse it might be possible to push the production to 3 cycles/pond/annum thereby achieving a production of 21000 fish/pond with a total production of 126 000 fish/annum reflecting a production of 50.4 ton/year. The current price of tilapia in open fish markets are between N$50-60/kg therefore an estimated fiscal value of production would be N$ 2,52 - N$ 3,024 million/p.a. These figures should stir interest in environmentally controlled aquaculture production as is the case at Leonardville. There is scope to increase this figure by employing integrated production with horticulture/aquaphonics, orchards etc.

 The farm contains an office, staff accommodation, processing and cold storage, drying place and a storeroom. Once fully operational, the farm will employ 2 technical staff and about 5 labourers. The fish farm will alsoact as a domonstration farm and train more potential fish farmers in the region.



Mr. Joseph Shapenga one of the staffmembers stationed at Leonardville explaining the production capacity of the fish farm


Hon. Esau inspecting the processing facility at the fish farm with the -18 C freezer room in the background
Old colonial building at the facility that was converted into a beautiful storage facility 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Joseph Shapenga Farewell KIFI, 28 June 2017: A new beginning at Leonardville Fish Farm

Mr. Joseph Shapenga addresing staff at his farewell function hosted by KIFI. The acting Chief Fisheries Biologist, Mr. Francois Jocobs in the background looking on.
Joseph Shapenga was the longest serving staff member at KIFI untill his transfer to the newly inaugurated Leonardville Fish Farm where his skills as an allround handyman will be dearly appreciated. Joseph was with KIFI since the construction days of KIFI and was the "to go to" guy if something needed fixing. 

KIFI staff arranged a haerty farewell fish braai for Joseph, Wednesday evening 28 June 2017. Everybody had good stories to relate their rubbing shoulders with him over many eventfull years together. Joseph assumed duty at Leonardville Fish Farm on Monday 3 July 2017 and already had a big impact on operations and maintenance at the farm.

Joseph Shapenga at his new duty station: Leonardville Fish Farm

Above: Leonardville Fish Farm 

We wish you all the best at Leonardville FIsh Farm....may God bless you...!!! Thank you for your friendship...!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

ONGWEDIVA VISIT AND STAFF MEETING: 31 AUGUST 2017

Ongwediva Inland Aquaculture Center 
Ongwediva staff attending the staff meeting with Mr. Burger (Deputy Director, Aquaculture) and MS Elizabeth Swartz (Deputy Director, General  Services)

Ms. E. Swartz from General Services explaining budget issues to Ongwediva Staff
Mr. Burger, Deputy Director, Division Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) from Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute and Ms. Elizabeth Swartz, Deputy Director, General Services attended the "Fish Talk" of the MFMR at the Ongwediva Trade Fair on Wednesday 30 August 2017 hosted by  Honourable  B. Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and afterwards utilized the opportunity to visit Ongwediva Inland Aquaculture Center on Thursday 31 Agust 2017 to meet with  the staff.

Ongwediva IAC staff members raised several issues for discussion, which were resolved with open mindednis and the team spirit DoAIF staff are so well known for.

Ms. Swartz and Ndivayele in discussion