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Rwanda’s ambitious plan to achieve fish production autonomy

By IGIHE
On 24 January 2024 at 06:51

In a significant development during the National Dialogue Council presided over by Rwandan President Paul Kagame on January 23, 2024, Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, unveiled an extensive plan to boost fish production within Rwanda. The primary objective is to eliminate the country’s reliance on foreign fish imports.

Dr. Musafiri explicitly articulated Rwanda’s commitment to cease importing fish from abroad, underscoring the necessity of developing domestic fishing to meet the nation’s growing demand for fish. The minister also emphasized the abundant fish resources in Lake Kivu in Rubavu and Rusizi, showcasing the delightful variety of sardine fishes locally known as "Isambaza."

In reference to a statement made by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye at the end of 2023, Minister Musafiri recalled that when Burundi opened its borders, it provided Rwandans with the opportunity to explore the silver fishes known as ‘Indagara’ from Lake Tanganyika.

Dr. Musafiri assured that the restocking project for Lake Kivu is underway and aims to produce sufficient fish to make Rwanda self-sufficient in fish production within the next five years. He also mentioned a Tilapia fish farming project in collaboration with the European Union, intended to further reduce dependence on foreign fish imports.

In 2022, Rwanda set a goal to produce 112,000 tons of fish annually. However, the Ministry of Agriculture’s report indicates that the production reached 43,560 tons, marking an increase from the previous year’s 41,664 tons. Fish farming activities were conducted in 17 lakes and four rivers across 15 regions of the country.


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