Friday, November 6, 2015

Mpungu Fish Farm Fish harvest Friday, 30 October 2015

Mpungu Fish Farm Cooperative members and  NYS members supported by Rundu Inland Aquaculture staff  busy with the fish harvest
Fish being weighed after the harvest

Report by: John Hamukwaya: Chief Fishery Biologist & Head: Kavango Regions

The preparation of harvest started on 27 October 2015 when 7 staff members from Rundu travelled to Nkurenkuru and camped on the farm to join two Cuban Experts and three NYS members.  Rundu team consisted of Petrus Hausiku, Sandrina Kudumo, Tedius Nyeliso, Amos Mulundu, Hendrik Afrikaner, Imelda Ngola and Johannes Hamukwaya. Emilia Nambinga, a fishery inspector joined the team on the harvesting day. This is referred to as the MFMR team.

Main activities before the harvesting day were:

1. Moving market size fish from three earth ponds to PP1 to be ready for harvest.
2.Cleaning the fish shop, processing plant and sorrounding areas. This important for food safety and food hygiene. Closing the open space between processing plant and fish shop with fish net to controll the public.
3. Mending nets and fixing floats and sinkers onto new fishing nets.
4. An openning meeting attended by MFMR team and cooperative embers was held to emphasize on the rules, deligation of tasks and expected conduct from everyone during harvest.

Harvesting day:

The fishing activities started at 06h00 in PP4 where we harvested about 359.05 kg of fish. About 292 kg of fish was harvested from PP1. Many clients arrived around 08h00. By around 12:00 pm number of clients dropped and fish were going bad. By 13h00 one businessman came and sold all fish to him. By 15h00 number of clients pick up again but fish finished. We pulled the net again in PP1 and PP4 and harvested 90 kg of fish. This was not enough and many people went back without fish.

An amount of N$13 323.00 was generated. N$12500.00 was divided among the 19 cooperative members. The money divided based on the number of days a member worked on the farm. A day a member was absent due illness or death of closer family and such member provided proof of eith medical certificate or death certificate, that day was counted as worked. In the past cooperatives share the money in equal share. This was changed at the beginning of the year. However, some few members wanted  to withdraw at harvest without success. An amount of about N$800.00 was left to buy seeds for the vegetable gardens.

After the harvest and before money was distributed a closing meeting was done. Here a new concept to improve production was introduced and welcomed by cooperative members. The concept is that each member will have his or her own plot. The garden will be divided into 19 equal plots. The seeds and manure will be provided from the farm account. The ministry will ensure each cooperative member has access to water from evaporation pond.

Mr. Hamukwaya, Chief Fishery Biologist appreciated the collective effort from cooperatives, NYS, Cuban Experts and MFMR staff and urged the team to double their effort for an improved result during the next season.

Mr. Hamukwaya surprised good performers with monetary rewards as follow:

First prize      : N$100.00
Second prize: N$  75.00
Third prize     : N$   50.00
Total                : N$225.00

The last day, 31 November 2015 was a clean up, logistic and travelling back to Rundu.

Challenges and recommendation:

The harvest target was at least 1 MT. This was not achieved may be due to:

1. Lack of fish feed because there are many small fish in PP4 which we thought reached harvest-able size. Unfortunately they did not. Sufficient fish feed must be available on the farm at all times.

2. Fingerlings were not available on time. This means lack of fingerling supply may contribute too. Broodstock should be at Mpungu Fish Farm to complement KIFI and Ongwediva hatcheries.

3. Cooperative members to re-asses their commitment and dedication in an equal individual manner to the improved future success of the fish farm. 

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