Rukwa — RUKWA: TANZANIA Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has partnered with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to provide four fibre fishing boats to fishermen from Rukwa and Katavi respectively.
Under the agreement of the 295.5m/- loan, the boats will be lent to three fishermen in Rukwa and one in Katavi. The loan is a zero-interest rate.
Prof Mohammed Sheikh from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said yesterday that the boats are part of a large nationwide transformational strategy targeting beneficiaries from Fishing Cooperative Organisations (FICOs), women and youth community groups (CBOs), individuals and companies engaged in fishing activities.
“In this first phase, 160 fibre fishing boats valued 11.09bn/- will be provided to fishermen across the country. The boats come in different sizes, ranging from five metres to fourteen metres,” said Prof Sheikh.
The Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mr Alexander Mnyeti handed over a boat to a group of fishermen at Nankanga in Rukwa and another boat to a group of fishermen from Karema Ward along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika in Tanganyika District, Katavi region. The two boats cost over 158.5m/-.
The second event took place at Kasanga Port along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika in Kalambo District in Rukwa region where Mr Mnyeti handed two boats to Rungwa Fisheries and Marketing Cooperative Society (RUFIMA) from Muze Ward along the Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District.
The boats are equipped with special accessories such as fish finder devices and GPS.
He, however, stressed on the need for the parties to service their loans to enable the government to procure more boats which will be supplied to other fishermen in the wake of boosting the country’s blue economy.
TADB’s collaboration is deemed strategic to revitalise the fisheries sector to enhance key players undertake more profitable and sustainable investments in the sector.
Equally, the Kalambo District Council Chairperson Mr Daudi Sichone applauded the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries for successfully rolling out the project.
One of the project beneficiaries, Mr Peter Mpangala said that the support will enable their cooperative to conduct fishing activities and be able to access deep waters in order to increase productivity.
“I would like to assure you that we will now engage in more focused fishing activities, knowing the importance of repaying these loans on time so that others can also benefit from this assistance,” he said.