The Zhulube fish farming project in ward one, Insiza district has helped improve the livelihoods and dietary needs of the local community, amid calls for such ventures to be spread across the drought prone region of Matabeleland.

The Zhulube irrigation scheme diversified into fish farming in 2015 following support from the European Commission under the Integrated and Sustainable Fisheries and Aqua Culture Production for Improved Food Security for Vulnerable Households in Zimbabwe Vice Secretary of the scheme, Mr Wilfred Sibanda said the programme has been successful, revealing that they harvested 500kgs of fish in their initial year.

“The farmers are currently meeting local demand for fish and are looking to cast their net wider and attract bigger markets,” said Mr Sibanda.

Other members said the project has been life changing as it has improved their nutritional status while creating a source of livelihood for locals.

Ward 1 Councillor, Mr Fester Ndlovu said there is need for such projects to be implemented in other parts of the district so as to boost food security and nutrition.

Farmers at Zhulube irrigation scheme are expecting to harvest 1000 Nile bream fish in a few days, which will be sold for $3 a kilogramme.

The scheme currently has 12 000 fingerlings stocked in two of the five ponds.

The farmers also benefited a tractor under the More Food for Africa Programme and grow various agricultural products on their 15 hectare piece of land.