Lake Shore Aquaculture Program
Lake Shore Lodge has applied for financing for a Tilapia farm on our property. The reasons for this are:
- to provide a sustainable food source for the nearby villagers - the fishing here is very sporadic and seasonal
- to reduce the need for extracting fish from the Lake - the drastic reduction in the quantities of fish is concerning
- to create jobs in this very remote area, where employment options are extremely limited
- to use the main farm as a training structure for local entrepreneurs
We are currently in negotiations with a financier for our dream project, to create a 24 pond Tilapia aquaculture project on the rear of our property. We will only use the 'oreochromis tanganicae', which is endemic to Lake Tanganyika, thereby not introducing any potentially harmful foreign species.
Initially we will choose 20 local village folk, who express interest in learning about aquaculture. The employees will gain all the training in this regard from rearing the hatchlings, growing the fish and then the final harvesting of the fish. Once they have learnt all there is to know, we will provide each employee with their own "Starter Kit" to go on and grow their own fish, in their own villages. This will create a pyramid employment effect, thus slowly reducing the need for fishermen to continue extracting the ever-reducing fish from this precious lake. In order to keep the fishermen in the loop, we will offer every registered fishermen, in our area an AGENCY. By buying our fish at a discount and selling them on for a profit, it is our hope that even the fishermen will make more money from selling our fish, than they would by fishing themselves, thereby creating a WIN-WIN business model for all.
We have already experimented with a brooding stock and the tilapia are great breeders, some, disrespectfully dub them the 'rodents' of the lake - but they taste GREAT.
The initial farm will include a full hatchery, where by playing with the temperature, we will ensure that we get a mostly male population. This is normally achieved using chemicals, but we choose not to do it that way, because it could always seep into the lake and cause catastrophic effects later.
The project will also include a pellet making machine. Although fish food can be purchased, this doesn't help our people. We will create an out-growers program, so that we can manufacture our own food. This will further create really great job opportunities for local farmers to grow the crops we need. We will give them the seeds they need and buy whatever they grow to put into the pellet machine to make the fish nice and fat!
We are developing a STARTER KIT farm, which we are hoping to make readily available to locals who want to grow their own fish. These kits are not as sophisticated as the INITIAL farmed fish production, but it will provide a small family with the resources to generate enough fish protein to supply their families with good nutrition, relatively easily.
The kits are put together using locally obtainable equipment and will require very low effort in order to grow fish to suitable edible sizes relatively quickly.
The equipment forming the kit is:
- plastic, 1000 litre tank in stainless steel frame, with top hatch and bottom drain valve
- 100 w solar panel, 1 x N 100 solar battery and a 12v solar water pump