While volumes of farmed fish in Zambia have increased from 13,000t in 2012 to over 30,000t in 2016, this growth is largely attributed to the expansion of commercial aquaculture while the output from the small-scale sector dropped by 27% between 2011 to under 3,000t in 2014.

Aquaculture potentially offers smallholder farmers a high value, high nutrition and climate smart production option but, outside peri-urban markets where there are opportunities for interaction with private input and technology providers, extension agencies and formal output marketing channels, there is very little linkage between the farmer and private suppliers, service providers and buyers.

From the farmers’ viewpoint, access to critical inputs such as fingerlings, feed and production knowledge is low, financing opportunities are almost non-existent and access to markets is difficult, given the challenges of the cold chain and distance to market. All of these factors constrain the appetite – and the confidence – for farmers to invest their limited resources and thus smallholder adoption of aquaculture is limited.

In this relatively ‘greenfield’ sector, Sustainable Builders Zambia’s focus is to increase the production and productivity of the small-scale fish farming sector by building the capacity of commercial actors along the aquaculture supply chain to deliver sustainable and profitable pro-poor market services to the sector including the provision of inputs and technologies, output marketing opportunities and extension, vocational training and technology transfer.

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