This study aims at assessing the characteristics of the rural fish farming in pond at the Biosphere Reserve of Yangambi in DRC. The current study aims at analyzing the socioeconomic factors of the fish growers and the technical factors of the fish farming in order to identify the main constraints to development of this alternative activity to deforestation and in the fight against poverty in rural areas. Structured and semi-structured surveys were conducted among 146 fish farmers between May 2015 and November 2016. Results showed that all fish growers are males (100 %) with an average age of 41 years and most of them are farmers (65.1 %). Most of them married (89.0 %) with an average of 8 children per family. They have a high literacy rate (90.4 %) but without professional training in fish farming (54.8 %). The technical characteristics of ponds are encouraging, they are in most (67.1 %) dug on soil with loamy texture and filled by closeby springs (45.2 %) and by neighboring river (34.9 %) with regular flow. However, fishes are little fed with agro-by-products (32.9 %) or with natural fertilizers (43.2 %). The main fish species is Oreochromis niloticus (55.5 %) with production cycle varying from 6 months to more than a year. The fish growers use a mainly family labor and equipment of subsistence fish farming. Fish is marketed at non competitive prices because of the distance which separates the places of production and local markets. The main constraints to fish farming are, no access to bank loans, lack of qualified personnel for technical supervision, lack of quality fingerlinks, lack of technical and financial support as well as the problem of floods which destroys earth dikes.

Keywords: Fish, socio-economic factors, technical factors, biosphere reserve, Yangambi, RD Congo.