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 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

Monday, August 21, 2017

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE REGIONAL COURSE: Transformation of Aquaculture, Fish Processing and Value Addition In The SADC Region

“Transformation of Aquaculture, Fish Processing and Value Addition In The SADC Region - AquaTrans”
15th – 21st September, 2017, Lilongwe – Malawi

AquaTrans (Transformation of Aquaculture, Fish Processing and Value Addition In The SADC Region) is the first regional training course being offered by Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) with support from New Partnership for Africa Development – Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (NEPAD-SANBio) BioFISA II Programme (a Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme).
AquaTrans aims at providing a platform of knowledge and skills sharing among stakeholders for strengthened capacity in aquaculture technologies and thus contributing towards sustainable aquaculture expertise in the region.
LUANAR through Fish Node and AquaFish Center of Excellence, invites potential investors, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), private sector, policy makers, academicians, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and researchers, within the SANBio Member States (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zambia) to participate in this training. Individuals and organizations/representatives in the SANBio member states are eligible to apply for participation. Women and youths (<35 years) are particularly encouraged to apply.
Topics to be covered
 Critical success factors for Aquaculture business.
 Development of Bankable business Plan for Aquaculture business.
 Operational of Medium large scale Aquaculture business.
 Successful marketing, processing and value additional of fish and fish products.
 Field Visit to medium and large scale aquaculture ventures.
Funding Opportunity
SANBio will be able to cover travel, accommodation, lunch and tea costs for 25 participants. Those who are selected will be required to contribute ZAR1851.85 (MWK100, 000/ USD138.89) for international participants and ZAR 1,333.30 (MWK72,000/USD 100) for Malawian participants to cover for airport shuttles and in country travel from the hotel to training venue during the training. The participants will be responsible for their dinner and visa fees if necessary.
How to apply
Applicants should provide Curriculum Vitae, motivation letter, passport copy and complete application form (  by Monday 28th August, 2017.
For inquiries please write the secretariat at  or Chimwemwe German at  (+265 999 642 431) with a copy to Priscilla Nsandu at  (+265 999 253 929).

Best regards.

Edith Gondwe
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
NEPAD Regional Fish Node
Box 219, Lilongwe

Cell: 0993596039

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


The Deputy Minister, Hon. Dr. Samuel Chief Ankama was officially delegated to attend the 7th Multi Stakeholder Partnership Meeting in Addis Ababa. He was accompanied by Mr. Renier D. Burger, Deputy Director for aquaculture in the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries. The main purpose of this official mission was to network with the international livestock sector towards promoting freshwater aquaculture as an integrated component of livestock (and crop/horticulture) farming in order to improve the viability and profitability of such integrated farming system.
Honourable Ankama and Mr. Burger represented Namibia in several group meetings. Hon. Dr. Ankama was also selected for the main panel discussion were he highlighted the importance of livestock farming (including aquaculture) in communal and commercial areas in Namibia with special reference to women headed households and women as owners of livestock/fish ponds.

 The Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock farming/herding provides a platform, regionally and locally rooted, to comprehensively address the sector’s multiple challenges towards sustainable development. Its main orientation is based on the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and aligns all its activities to advance the contribution of livestock to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Aquaculture display at the International Livestock Research Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
 The 7th Multi Stakeholder Partnership Meeting focused on the multiple benefits that livestock-based solutions can provide for a broad range of stakeholders. This focus is a logical follow up of the 6th meeting held during 2016 in Panama where the links between sustainable livestock sector development and achieving of the SDGs were demonstrated.
 The meeting was guided by a multi-faceted 5 day program where, among others, tools to facilitate sustainable livestock sector development were  discussed, cases of practice change were demonstrated and learning tours to show local efforts towards sustainable sector development took place.
Venue of the Livestock Forum: Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa
 The meeting was held at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa from 8-12 May 2017and brought together more than 250 livestock specialists from over 50 countries to demonstrate the positive contribution of livestock to the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people on the planet, and foster the sustainable development of this rapidly-growing sector. Key actors in the livestock sector worldwide, donors, government and public sector representatives, UN agencies, multilateral and non-government organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector came together to discuss and propose how to best foster the sustainable development of this rapidly growing sector. Driven by population and economic growth, particularly in lowmiddle income economies, the demand for livestock products is expected to increase by about 70% in the coming 30 years. Whilst the livestock sector contributes to society in so many ways, including to food and nutrition security, it can also pose challenges to the environment and human health. This astronomical demand presents opportunities for the livestock sector to contribute to global development challenges by promoting sustained economic growth, inclusive social and human development, and the efficient use of natural resources.

Namibia as a member of the UN are implementing provisions of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and protection of the environment as captured in Namibia’s Constitution, Vision 2030, the SWAPO Party Manifesto, Harambee Prosperity Plan, the consecutive five year National Development Plans implemented by relevant line ministries by means of five year Strategic Plans. Namibia also partake in several multilateral and bi-lateral agreements/cooperation in the sub-region and internationally with regard to the livestock sector.
Namibia is the world leader with regard to community management of livestock and natural resources by means of conservancies under the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) approach. Conservation farming in communal areas should focus more on integrated farming practises by integrating crops, livestock and aquaculture to improve viability and profitability/income of households/farmers. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

On-farm Monosex Fingerling Production: Tilapia

On-farm Monosex Fingerling Production

Adrian Piers: Agriculture,Fisheries and Aquaculture consulting
Phone: +260 965 445464


Note from editor: The use of Methyl Testosterone  for sex reversal of fish not yet allowed in Namibia

Tilapia production in ponds for smallholder farmers.

Fish farming results can be improved by using only male fish, especially in ponds. This is because males grow faster than females, and if there are no females they do not waste energy breeding. In mixed sex fish ponds, the other problem is unwanted breeding, and the many small fish that are then eating the food that the big fish should be eating, and this stops them
Advantages of this seed system are also less handling and transport of fish seeds, so there is less mortality and it is much cheaper than buying fingerlings from other suppliers. When harvesting, the fish are much bigger and more even in size.

How to produce your own monosex male fish.

Even if you only have one fishpond, you can produce your own male fish seeds. This can be
done using a net-cage called a HAPA. If you have many ponds, you can use one just for monosex fish and fingerling production, and even sell these to other fish farmers. Notice these HAPAs are covered with thin nets on top also to stop birds from eating your small fish and to stop the big fish from jumping out. HAPAs look like this (below).

Once you have this in place, you will need to stock it with breeding fish. In HAPAs, the number of fish to stock depends on the size of the HAPA, so for every square meter of surface area you will need three females and one male fish. Breeding fish can be from your own ponds if you have mixed-sex fish, or bought from other fish farmers, or from the Department of Fisheries. Choose good healthy fish, and if you have kept the males and females separate (you can use HAPAs for this too!) for some weeks they will be fat and will breed quickly. Do not use fish thatwere treated with MT as breeders, and yowill need to make sure you have the correct numbers of males and females, so check the sex of the fish. You can do this by looking at the sex openings which look like this. After putting the breeders together into thHAPA, after some weeks you will seethe small fish swimming around in the HAPA. Now yoneed to gently lift the net up and take out the breeding fish, leaving the small fish in the HAPA. Check the mouths of the breeders, if some of them still have eggs in the mouth, drop them back and release the net, then wait a few days and check them again.

Feeding the MT starter feed

To make all the fish male, you will need to feed the small fish, called fry, a feed that contains a chemical called Methyl Testosterone. Some farmers add this to their feed themselves, but you can also buy fish feed that already has this chemical in Zambia. This feed is called MT starter.
Once you have removed the breeders, start feeding the fry the MT starter twice or three times a day. Make sure you do not overfeed! So look and see how much they are eating and there should be no feed remaining after about an hour. You will need to feed them this feed for at least 30 days. At the end of this they should be nearly all males.
After this the small fry can be moved to open ponds, and if the HAPA is already in the pond to be stocked, it can be done simply by pushing the sides of the HAPA down into the water. If they are to be moved to another pond, take care not to hurt the fish when moving them, and not to cause them stress by being too hot or cold, or too many in a container.

If you have another small pond, you can also use that for growing these fish to the next stage, called fingerlings. This normally is for another two months. After that the fish are much stronger and can be transferred to the growout pond for the final stage without being hurt.

When harvesting a growout pond, the best practice is called a TOTAL harvest where you take all
the fish out and sell them. Draining the whole pond is the best way to do this. Then the pond can be dried, repaired and prepared by applying agricultural lime and refilled with water ready for the next crop of fish. Drying out the pond and using lime will kill any remaining fish and sterilize the pond so that you do not have unwanted fish left over or wild fish breeding in the growout pond the next time it is used. This is important otherwise the advantages of having male fish only will be lost. It also helps to prevent diseases, and allows the air and sunlight to release more nutrients that will help to grow more natural food for the fish.
MT starter feed is available from Novatek, and advice on fish farming is available to members of the Aquaculture Development Association of Zambia. Contact details are below.

Landline: 286543/287710 
Mobile: 0978 070076, 0965 445464, 0978 779016, 0966 339833
Sales: 0978 779017/38