Current status of aquaculture in Kisangani region, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Constraints and opportunities
This study was carried out in Kisangani region, located in the north-east of the country. Surveys were carried out with farmers and observations were made on the nature of any aquaculture operations. Only fish farmers with a minimum of 100 m2 ponds surface area were assessed in detail in this study. It was quite an unexpected to discover that many farmers have maintained the aquaculture tradition in this region. Within an area from 18 km radius of Kisangani town, a total of 45 fish farmers were interviewed. In Kisangani region, 44 % of fish farmers have up to 15 years experience but only about 7 % have farmed fish for 25-35 years. About 90 % of the interviewed fish farmers were not members of any fish farmers’ association. The fish farmers in this region practice mainly polyculture. The most commonly cultivated fish species was Orechromis niloticus, followed by Clarias gariepinus and then Parachanna obsura. There is no commercially produced fish feed in the market and hence the feeding of the fish remains traditional. Most of the farmers (64 %) used rice bran; 42 % use pig waste; 78 % farmers used household wastes and about 22 % of the fish farmers do not feed the fish. The average fish production is 11.4 kg per 100 m2 while the lowest and highest production was respectively 4.0 kg/100 m2 and 29.5 kg/100m2. Fish is sold without post-harvest processing in lots or singles depending on fish size. In conclusion, Kisangani region’s aquaculture is operating at a very basic level. However, fish farming culture is better established here compared to other sub-Saharan countries. The growth of the sector is being currently hampered by limited technology, inadequate training, lack of feeds and overall lack of support for fish farmers. There is great aquaculture potential as all the climatic attributes of the region are ideal for aquaculture.
Keywords: Aquaculture, Kisangani region, ponds, feeding.