The tilapia revolution, we've been hearing about it for like a decade, but mostly, it still hasn't happened. True, Mike Feinstein's Fein Catch operation has turned things around at what used to be the Mena's Fresh Catch Fish farm - but on the micro level, all those backyard fish farm projects - which were supposed to be a source of protein and income for rural families…that project has just fizzled.
But, there's fresh hope for small to medium scale aquaculture farms with a Taiwanese funded 2.5 million US dollar hatchery. The hatchery is at Central Farm, and the ribbon was cut yesterday afternoon. Both the Taiwanese Ambassador and the Ministry of Agriculture spoke about its importance.
There are 16 ponds, and a larger water reservoir pond about the size of a football field which will gravity feed water into the ponds. The ambassador noted that the development of the industry has been impeded by the high cost of the input materials: namely, the fish feed, which has to be imported, and the fish fingerlings. The new hatchery reduces the cost of the fingerlings for local fish farmers.