A crocodile and fish farmer in Sinazongwe District has called on government to partner with other stakeholders in opening up the area for tourism development by taking advantage of its tourist attractions.
Gordana Farms General Manager Kelvin Moulders said the district is endowed with great potential and opportunities for tourism development that have existed for many years without being exploited.
Mr. Moulders was speaking in an interview with ZANIS during the monitoring of the fish farming project at his farms by the Department of Fisheries.
Mr. Moulders said the district has many tourism packages to offer such as the beautiful landscapes, mountains, hills, islands and lake shores that provide traditional views and sunsets.
“Fishing and game viewing on the islands of Chikanka, Chete are all part of the potential for tourism that would bring in revenue and foreign exchange for the country from Sinazongwe district,” he said.
He has however bemoaned activities that are disturbing fishing activities in Sinazongwe area.
Mr. Moulders disclosed that the use of wrong fishing gears were contributing to the depletion of the beautiful fish species such as the tiger and Kariba bream that could be utilised for establishing protected tourism fishing spots.
He said rampant poaching was another factor which the government must control in order to preserve the few wildlife species surviving on the islands and protect them for tourism attraction.
Mr. Moulders further said infrastructure development was another source of concern that needed attention to tap tourism potential of the district.
He said the road network system, communication and accommodation in terms of lodges, camping sites and conference facilities should be addressed.
Mr. Moulders however commended government for supporting communities with fish farming technologies through providing fish cages in the district.
The support has been done through the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project (APMEP).
And the Department of Fisheries in Sinazongwe District confirmed that the fish farming programmes were doing fine in the district.
Fisheries Officer Twaambo Buumba said government has provided 170 fish cages to communities in Sinazongwe and a number of people are currently engaged in the activity.
Mr. Buumba stated that the project has great potential to add to the achievement of the tourism potential of the district despite few challenges faced under the project.
“The high cost of fingerlings and feed including maintenance of the cages are some of the challenges fish farmers face besides lack of adequate market linkages for their produce,” said Mr. Buumba.
He said small scale fish farmers did not have the capacity to use all the fish cages and therefore the department encouraged them to apply for CDF.