Farmers’ Guide With Joseph Mugenyi: Tips On How To Farm Tilapia Fish In A Pond

Farmers’ Guide With Joseph Mugenyi: Tips On How To Farm Tilapia Fish In A Pond

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By Joseph Mugenyi

Kibiito: Fish farming has become one of the most lucrative businesses around Uganda. There are different types of fish that can be reared and they include the Nile perch, Tilapia and catfish and they this can be done either on a small scale or large scale.

Fish farming has also reduced illegal fishing on the lakes of Uganda and has also increased the government’s revenues.

The Tilapia is the most common fish on the Ugandan market and it stays in shallow clean freshwater and it is good for business since it grows fast that is attains maturity sexually at two months leading to rapid reproduction.

When starting up any business, there are a few things one needs to set up that specific business and this goes for the fish farming business and some of the things needed to start fish farming are listed below.

In a one on one interview with Mugisha Saviour a fish farmer and a manager of More of Organic Farming in Urban areas (MOFU). This is what he shared with our reporter.

Mugisha said, “Raising tilapia at home is not as complicated as most people think. Personally, I used to think that aquaculture could only be practised in a place with flowing water, but later I came to realize that this was not true.”

Tilapia fish in man made ponds

He added, “I came to know that I didn’t need flowing water or a large pool of water to do tilapia farming at my home. The little water I trap from the roof was enough to practice aquaculture. Another thing I came to learn is that I didn’t need to have a large field to keep this aquatic animal. The small space in my backyard was enough to breed this type of fish.

In brief, How to Farm Tilapia in Your Home Backyard;

  1. Construct & prepare a pond.
  2. Add and maintain water.
  3. Do stocking.
  4. Provide right temperature, lighting and aeration.
  5. Provide feed
  6. Prevent and control parasites
  7. Prevent, control and treat diseases
  8. Protect tilapia from predators

1.Construct and Prepare a Backyard Pond for Raising Tilapia.

Select the best site to construct your fish pond. Ensure the site is easily accessible to facilitate free movement to and from the structure. The site should be receiving enough sunlight, which is good for algae growth. This micro-plant is great food for tilapia. Also, choose a place that is free from floods to avoid dirt water getting into the structure.

Fish pond

Consider the size of your backyard or garden to determine the size of the pond. Consider also the amount of fish you need on a monthly basis to come up with the right size. This site can get you started: 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep. You can increase or decrease it, considering these two factors, but ensure one mature tilapia has a water space of 1 square fot or 0.5 cubic feet of water.

Next is to choose the type of fish pond that suits your specific needs. You can choose from earth ponds, kiddie pools, lined plywood troughs or fibreglass hot tubs. Earth ponds are preferred in places with soils that retain a lot of water and with low infiltration rates. These types of ponds can also be constructed anywhere with the help of lining materials such as nylon paper sheets. They are easy to construct but require a lot of maintenance work.

An affordable Fish pond for starters

Benefits of fish farming in Uganda

It is an income generating source for the farmer from the earnings they get from selling the fish.

Fish is highly rich in protein and fish farming helps in matching the high demand for protein on the Ugandan market.

It reduces the unemployment rates since labor has to be hired in order to take care of the fish in the pond.

Fish farming does not in any way degrade the environment that is another aquatic life can live there hence preserving wetlands and preserving the environment.

Fish farming does not require a lot of resources to start and it can also be done on a small scale basis.

Fish is eaten by almost half the population in the country as food. Fish farming has increased the number of fish sold on the market.

The risks involved in fish farming in Uganda

The fish sold from the fish farms is too expensive due to the cost of production and it competes with that from the lakes which are cheap, this might cause a loss as Ugandans prefer the cheap fish to the expensive one.

Fish is widely known to be very sensitive and any slight mistake made will lead to a high mortality rate of the fish. Therefore you must be very careful while rearing the fish.

Setting up the farm and maintaining the ponds can be very expensive compared to other farms like poultry and yet the profits need patience. So if you are setting up a fish farm, you need to be patient with everything you do on a fish farm

Compared to other farms where you can get other by-products like manure when you start fish farming be sure that the only thing you will get is fish and only if they are well taken care of.

In conclusion, there is no business that is started that does not have risks but the best thing to do is to look at the bright side and concentrate on the benefits and you will enjoy profits in the long run from fish farming.

Ask for advice from fellow farmers who are into fish farming and find out how they maintain their farms and also understand the trade process of how fish is transported and its market. Read through the above and you will reap big from fish farming in Uganda.

Today we have talked about a topic on construction and preparation of a backyard pond for raising tilapia, next time it will be about the addition and maintenance of water in ponds.

Get all the agricultural information here bi-weekly. Mugenyi Joseph (MJ Farmer) is a practicing Agribusiness entrepreneur based in Kibiito and a software engineering student at Makerere University. He can be reached on 0701-443309, Email: mugenyijosemj@gmail.com

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