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How Small-Scale Farmers Can Double Their Fish Production

Knowledge is power, and small-scale fish farming as an enterprise is no exception!

Did You Know? You can realize edible fish production of 4000 Kg/ha, from a stock of 50,000 Tilapia finger-lings using effluent from 60 pigs for one hectare of pond per year!

The use of pig manure to fertilise fish ponds is probably the most common way especially in areas such as Kenya and its neighbours, where temperature allows for a long growing season for the fish. The effluent is channeled from the pig pen into suitable ponds, or in some cases pig sties are constructed over ponds so that the waste (fecal matter and urine) drop straight through into the water.

The enriched water serves to generate algae, which can be converted by fish into edible protein. Fish production is doubled if the pond water is aerated. As they fill up the sediment, ponds can be dried -out in rotation and the sediment forms rich manure which can be established in the pond beds.
You may also opt for water hyacinth on the ponds to utilise the nutrients, and this can then be fed back to the pigs. Ducks can also be used instead of pigs to contribute to fertilizing the ponds and provide an alternative meat source.

The advantage of keeping pigs rather than ducks is that its manure can be fermented anaerobically to produce biogas, which can be used for domestic cooking and lighting. The set-up is simple and a do it yourself experience. All you need is a tank (concrete or steel) for digestion, a condensation/safety trap, a reservoir to provide a constant pressure and piping system to transport the gas to your home. From this alternative energy source: 12-15 growing pigs' daily effluent, each producing 1.5 Kg fresh weight can provide enough gas (about 1 cubic meter) for 4-5 hours of cooking per day.

Another smart way to create wealth using livestock is rabbit keeping. check this out! normally, the cost of rabbit meat is twice that of beef on a per Kg basis, with an adult male rabbit weighing up to 4 Kg and a small-scale rabbit farm holding is 15-100 rabbits, imagine the opportunity.!

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