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Mtshabezi Dam centre for Mat South Command Fisheries

Mtshabezi Dam centre for Mat South Command Fisheries
 The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South Cde Abednigo Ncube (left) hands over fingerlings for the National Command Fisheries Programme to villagers in Matabeleland South yesterday

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South Cde Abednigo Ncube (left) hands over fingerlings for the National Command Fisheries Programme to villagers in Matabeleland South yesterday

Nyaradzo Bakari, Chronicle Reporter
THE Government yesterday launched the Command Fisheries Programme for Matabeleland South at Mtshabezi Dam where 100 000 fingerlings were stocked in four fishponds.

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South, Cde Abednigo Ncube, launched the programme and warned locals against poaching.
President Mugabe initiated the National Command Fisheries scheme during the commissioning of Tokwe Mukosi dam in Masvingo in May.

The programme, which is spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), has already been launched in Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland North, Mashonaland East, Central and West.

Cde Ncube, who is also the Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, said command fisheries should benefit vulnerable groups.

“The Command Fisheries Programme is one of the ways Government is ensuring that people will not only benefit from water in the dam for crop irrigation but also other socio-economic opportunities such as fishing and tourism. I am encouraging the youth and women in the province to come together and form cooperatives and invest in this low-cost fish cage culturing technology,” he said adding that villagers should use proper channels to acquire fishing rights and avoid poaching. Cde Ncube said 900 000 fingerlings have been stocked in dams across 22 districts countrywide.

ZimParks acting director general Mr Geoffrey Matipano said villagers would be trained on fish preservation methods.

“The Command Fisheries team will ensure that communities are trained in fish farming and also make sure that there is enough fish seed to restock other dams in Matabeleland South Province,” said Mr Matipano.

“The target is that every perennial dam will be stocked with fish for the benefit of local communities. This is, however, not going to be achieved if this resource is not protected”. The launch was witnessed by Member of Parliament for Umzingwane constituency Cde William Dewa, councillors and other local leaders. — @NyarieBakie.

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