President of the United Republic of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete officiated the opening of the Kigomeni Fish Farmer Association’s fish farm in Chongoleani village in the Tanga district of Tanzania. The farm is owned by the association whose 18 members, 4 of whom are women, contributed their own labor and resources for building the new pond. The association receives technical assistance through ACDI/VOCA’s Sustainable Environmental Management through Mariculture Activities (SEMMA) program in creating market linkages, building capacity, providing input supplies linkages, and training in business skills and mariculture protocols.
SEMMA Program Manager Juzar Sachak and Mariculture Advisor Lugazo Zuberi along with members of the smallholder association welcomed the president. Other event attendees included national ministers, members of parliament and regional and district officials. The president officiated the opening to emphasize the importance of mariculture activities in the country. He officially opened the farm by stocking the fish fingerlings and donated $1,750 to support the association’s work. He said, “The wild fish catch is dwindling and the source for income and protein is now in mariculture. We are endowed with abundant natural resources that we should utilize sustainably to reduce our poverty levels.”
The president commended SEMMA and said, “It is good to see projects working at the grass root level and helping people.”
The 5-year, USAID-funded $1.3 million SEMMA project works to conserve biodiversity along the Tanzanian coastline through the sustainable development of profitable mariculture enterprises.
For more information on SEMMA, click here.