Name :RICHARD MAKANDA
Host Institution: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources BUNDA CAMPUS
Course: Master of Science degree in Aquaculture
Thesis: THE EFFECT OF CATERPILLARS (IMBRASIA BELINA) AS DIETARY PROTEIN SOURCE ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF TILAPIA RENDALLI (BOULENGER, 1897) RAISED IN CONCRETE PONDS
My study experience and application of output
About Zambia (brief account)
First and foremost to note, Zambia is a landlocked country geographically located in Southern Africa with a tropical climate and consists mostly of high plateau, with hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. At 752,614 km2 (75.3 million ha), it is the 39th largest country in the world lying mostly between latitudes 8° and 18°S, and longitudes 22° and 34°E. The country endows with mean maximum temperature ranges of 18°C to 27°C and mean minimum temperatures between 9°C and 15°C and is divided into ten (10) provinces (Western, Northwestern, Southern, Central, Copperbelt, Lusaka, Eastern, Muchinga, Luapula, and Northern), where are further subdivided into 89 districts. The country’s 40 per cent water area supports over 800 species of fish and nearly 15 per cent of the global freshwater fish biodiversity. Zambia is blessed with various rivers and lakes where capture fisheries is at peak. The resulting statistics from the 2013 survey show that fish catches in the fishery areas reduced by 7 percent compared to the 2012 fishing period.
Going by this trend, it can be deduced that annual fish production reduced from 80,638 in 2012 to 75,187 tons in 2013. This slight decrease could be attributed to poor and illegal fishing practices, over capacity of the fisheries in the country leading to over fishing and inadequate extension personnel to enforce the fisheries regulations. On the other hand, aquaculture production has currently increased from 12, 988 metric tons in 2012 to 20, 271 during the year under review, 2013.
Application of knowledge
Thus by virtue of this study attended, (MSc. Aquaculture) and with knowledge acquired in fish nutrition would therefore significantly contribute towards the efforts of exploiting alternative animal origin (insects – caterpillar species – Imbrasia belina) feed ingredient as a protein source for fish growth performance rather than continued use of cost ineffective fish meal and its uncertainty future prospects. This is a good investigation to adopt and adapt as most Zambian fish farmers are on the small scale level where inputs (i.e. fishmeal use as fish feed) seems cost ineffective to expand in their farming activity. Therefore, with this obtained development in aquaculture (Fish nutrition), dissemination of the viable findings will be executed unselfishly and accordingly to the farmers thus contribute to increased production and unconditional food security at household and possibly national level.
Sponsors: Total tribute is awarded to the EU: Africa Share Capacity-Intra Mobility Fund (SHARES) for the financial support rendered to successfully accomplish the academic and research tasks. Further gratitude is extended to RUFORUM for further financial timely assistance rendered under FAPA initiative not only during the course of the study, but also after for increased experience. The LUANAR management, the Aquaculture and Fisheries departmental stuff and supervisors for availing a conducive platform to carry out the academic activity, acknowledgement is unconditionally in order. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries – Zambia (herein: Employer) for provision of authority to study abroad. Least but not the last, devotion is extended to fellow program mates for the academic assistance and good hospitality exhibited during my two year academic tenure. Given yet another opportunity under the same scholarship, would not hesitate.