A Shs.5bn project to promote cage fish farming launched in Kabarole

KABAROLE – The government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has launched a Shs 5bn project to promote cage fish farming on the crater lakes in Kabarole district.

The project is being implemented under the presidential initiative on Agro Industrialization for Local Economic Development (AGRILED) in the Rwenzori region that is aimed at transforming the local government system to facilitate effective business oriented local development with a focus on poverty reduction and sustainable wealth creation.

Kabarole district is gifted with 49 crater lakes which are mainly used as tourist sites with few fishing activities.

According to the Kabarole district NAADS Coordinator, Grace Kazigati, the project will be implemented in a phased manner starting with the four sub-counties of Ruteete, Kichwamba Kasenda and Kasenda Town Council.

“Under this project, farmers will be trained in fish farming, provided with fish fingerlings for stocking and also given 30 fish cages with each installed and stocked with 3,500 fingerings,” Kazigati said.

Kazigati said cage fish farming is intended to enable communities near the crater lakes to engage in fish farming with an aim of boosting their household incomes.

“These crater lakes were selected after a feasibility study on the nature of the waters and their history of supporting fish life. Only 22 crater lakes have been tested and cleared for cage fish farming,” she said.

She said a total of seven crater lakes have been identified to kick start the project; two from Ruteete, four from Kasenda and one from Kichwamba.

Ms Kazigati said, they have already started training fish farmers near the crater lakes in areas of mindset change, development of business plans and the cost benefit analysis for fish farming and the role of farmer organizations in maximizing profits in cage fish farming.

She said that they have also trained the extension staff in charge of each of the four pilot sub-counties to enable them follow up and further guide the farmers on how to maximize their profits.

She said for the start, they have trained 150 in the first phase.

The Fisheries Officer Kabarole, Baguma Brian cautioned the farmers to take the project seriously citing good feeding for the fish as a must if they are to benefit from the government support.

The Vice Chairperson Kabarole district, Stella Kyorampe said the project will not only help the district to tap the fast-growing market opportunities and increasing demand of fish at local, regional, and international markets, but will also create employment opportunities for locals within the area.

The Kabarole District Production Officer, Dr. Salvatore Abigaba, has implored the fish farming communities to secure the cages if they are to benefit from the project.

He is optimistic that the project will help communities boost their incomes since there is a ready market for fish in the country and the world at large.

Noah Atalyeba, the head of Rwaihamba parish fish farmers, said that they are happy that the government has offered them an opportunity to benefit from the program.

He noted that they initially had poor quality fish species, which are very small in size that will be replaced by the new fish species from the government that can fetch a better price.

Michael Mwesige, a resident of Rwaihamba parish in Ruteete sub-county, said that the new project will not only boost their income levels, but it will also provide job opportunities to the youth.

He however, said that the cages are few compared to the number of registered associations in the sub-counties and wants the government to send more.

According to the National Development Program (NDP III), the government plans to increase fish production by 2030 with the fisheries sub-sector expected to produce up to 1,000,000 metric tons mostly through revamped aquaculture and restocking of small lakes.


The fisheries sector in Uganda provides a vital source of food, providing about 50% of animal protein. It employs close to 80,000 people who are directly involved in catching fish, and a further 800,000 people who are involved in downstream activities related to fishing.

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