The First 1000 Most Critical Days Program (MCDP) has turned around the life of Joyce Nsofwa, a 49 year old local fish farmer
in Chinsali’s Lukonde village, located about 12 km from the main town. Lukonde village has over 25 fish ponds and 20 farmers were engaged into fish farming.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock through the First 1000 MCDP has empowered several local farmers through fish farming. Mrs. Nsofwa is one of the notable beneficiaries of this program. She has managed to harvest a good number of fish from her ponds. She has been feeding her family with the very fish, and this has remarkably improved her family’s nutrition status. She also sells some of fish within her village and uses some of the income to buy essential food stuffs, such as cooking oil, salt, sugar etc.
She also grows assorted vegetables for her home consumption, interestingly; she also uses the vegetables to feed her fingerlings.
According to the District Aquaculture officer, Mr. Mweemba, the beneficiaries were given initial start-up capital, 84 fish ponds were dug and 72 farmers were trained through a Pass on Scheme. He further lamented that it was a bit tedious to capture how much fish was harvested as the farmers regularly consumes part of the harvest. They are hoping that fish farming will provide a good income generating venture to the 91 targeted farmers within the district.
Joyce took part in the 2017 Provincial Agriculture Show, where she show-cased some of her harvest, and managed to walk away with a prize in one of the categories. Mrs. Nsofwa thanked the SUN First 1000 MCDP for coming up with such a program, as it was empowering people, especially women to venture into aqua farming as they were able to realize some income from their harvest and at the same time improving her family’s nutrition status.
She thanked the efforts that the Commission was making to improve people’s lives through such a program (SUN).