HomeStandard StyleChingwe’s amazing fish farming project

Chingwe’s amazing fish farming project

I am wondering if many people still have the luxury and time to swim in their swimming pools now that the warm weather is here. Many factors that range from shortage of water to total loss of interest, with more important survival matters taking precedence, swimming is on the bottom of the to-do-list of countless people.

gardening with Doreen Badze

Nickson Chingwe displays fish from his fish farming project
Nickson Chingwe displays fish from his fish farming project

I have a swimming pool at my house but I have no desire to swim, besides the headache and expense of trying to maintain it. However, I have decided — as awkward as it may sound — for my grandchildren to have much fun when they visit by fishing right from the house pool.

On many of my adventurous agricultural-ventures, I was referred to an outstanding fish farmer, Nickson Chingwe. All I was looking for was farm equipment which I could hire; surprisingly what I observed on this small-scale farm is the subject of this article. Right in the backyard of the homestead, I counted 12 huge ponds that provided the whole place with the serenity that comes with water. Additionally, there was a huge pipe of water that had water roaring in one of the ponds sounding like a huge waterfall. I immediately joked about the cool air that prevailed on the property while I could not wait to hear details of what project was in progress.

I sat down to hear from Chingwe (NC), who shared his story with me (DB). Below are excerpts of the interview.

DB: Sir, please tell me a little bit about yourself.

NC: My name is Nickson Chingwe. I am 53 years old and was born in Gutu district in Masvingo province. I am married with five children.

DB: What brought you to this area [Shamva Road — about 20 minutes’ drive from Harare CBD]?

NC: I am a beneficiary of the land reform programme and my story is that of turning lemons into lemonade.
Initially, I was allocated three hectares of a swampy area and people asked me how I was going to utilise the land. Some thought I was going to give up. I did not have an immediate solution, but I was grateful for the land. One day, while I was listening to the radio, I heard about fish farming and got interested. I had a passion for animal husbandry and as you can see, I have pigs, chickens and cows around here.

DB: How then did you start fish farming?

NC: I went for training at Henderson Research Station in Mazoe. Slowly, I started clearing the swampy area, making ponds and placing different species of fish, mainly the Tilapia family in the ponds. I have 12 ponds and I have been in this aquaculture business since 2011.

DB: How many fish do you have and what services do you offer?

NC: I have over 80 000 fish, but in different age groups. Some are babies, juveniles, table fish and large ones. I also offer training to those interested. My place has become an attraction for many people, especially those who have children with a passion for fishing. I assist in setting up fish production businesses and sell the seed [baby fish] as well.

DB: What is your recommendation to those who want to do fish production?

NC: Water and land are the main possessions that are a requirement. Everything else can be provided that range from the seed and the food. You also need in-depth training on how to raise, harvest and prepare fish.

Chingwe can be reached on cell phone number 0772 352 612. Eating fish does have good health benefits and primarily meets the protein deficiency that exists in many areas.

In our nursery, we have the following seedlings; cabbage star 3316 hardened and ready to go, California wonder green pepper, tengeru tomato, spinach, rape, gooseberry and cabbage star 3316

Happy gardening week!!

Doreen Mutobaya Badze is a retired nurse and passion-driven gardener. She can be reached on Cell 0779 730 880 or on 16 Metcalf Road, Greendale, Harare. Email: dbadze4@gmail.com Facebook Page: Badze Garden Nursery

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