The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is implementing a partnership project supported by the European and known as “Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Aquaculture in Uganda (PESCA) in which it supports fish farmers.
Through this project, government is working towards organizing smallholder aquaculture producers into a Cooperative Union.
Known as the Uganda Aquaculture Cooperative Union, the cooperative union will bring together aquaculture producers organizations, promote best management practices and enhance extension in the aquaculture sub-sector.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture public relations manager, Charlotte Kemigyisha, the best management practices which are for rural aquaculture practice and planning for climatic change adaptation for small holder aquaculture will be prepared and disseminated through the cooperative union.
“Extension services for aquaculture will be enhanced through development of new and appropriate private extension provision. The cooperative union will also enable government and partners in the sub-sector to assess and support restructuring and reorganising of existing formal and informal producer organisations to engage in aquaculture as a business,” Kemigyisha said.
She noted that to date there are 120 sub-county aquaculture producer organisations that have been formed and registered with support from the project in 35 pilot districts of Uganda, spread over all six regions of the country.
According to the ministry, these are located in the districts of Amuru, Apac, Gulu, Lira, Omoro and Oyam in the Northern region, Arua, Packwach, Nebbi and Koboko in the North-western; Mpigi, Lwengo, Luwero, Kalangala, Masaka, Mukono and Wakiso in Central, Budaka, Butaleja, Iganga, Busia, Pallisa and Soroti in the eastern region; Ibanda, Bushenyi, Kabale, Kisoro, Mbarara, Mitooma, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo in the South-western and Hoima, Kasese and Kyegegwa in the Western region.
“Through the same project, partners have also undertaken formation, registration and capacity building of 6 regional cooperative unions, one for each region.”
Kemigyisha said there is Northern Regional Aquaculture Cooperative Union Ltd for the Northern region, West Nile Aquaculture Cooperative Union Ltd for the North-western, Central Regional Aquaculture Cooperative Union Ltd for Central, Elgon Nile Aquaculture Cooperative Union Ltd for the Eastern, South-western Aquaculture Cooperative Union Ltd for the South-western and Rwenzori-Albertine Aquaculture Union Ltd for the Western.
“The producer organisations and regional unions which will be organised under the country level cooperative union will also contribute to organisation of people in the sub-sector to benefit from the agro-industrialisation programme, NDP111 and the Parish Development Model, among other government initiatives.”