The establishment and management of fish farming communities in 25 locations across five provinces has been strengthened with nearly four million breeder fish released into natural reservoirs, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.
This project aims to strengthen capacity in fish farming communities to ensure food security for poor farmers as well as reduce vulnerability to climate change.
The project, implemented by the Fisheries Administration, is funded by the agriculture ministry’s Food Security Assistance for the Poor project in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency and has a budget of $380,000 for two years (July 2020-June 2022) in the five target provinces – Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey.
The project aims to provide technical support for community committees and commune council members to develop fish farming and conservation areas in natural reservoirs and fish farming ponds adjacent to rice fields for increasing fish stocks.
According to Sakhon, the project was implement a year ago and has achieved many results, such as strengthening management systems and established 25 community conservation sites in the target provinces.
In addition, 3,907,500 fish, including catfish and goldfin tinfoil brab, were released into natural reservoirs to increase fish stocks in the provinces’ reservoirs. The project also provided skills training.
The project assisted in digging ponds and a canal system to connect ponds to rice fields in farming communities, according to Sakhon.
“Previously, farmers in the area did not have experience in raising fish, but after receiving support from the project, farmers are happy to participate in the implementation of this fish farming project. As a result, they can now grow fish to support their livelihoods.
“This fish farming community also participated in training, planning, management and establishment of fish sanctuaries in their community. As a result, the number of fish has increased since the project began,” he said.
According to the agriculture ministry, small-scale fish farmers with less capital can earn about $150 to $280 in six to eight months, while small-scale fish farmers with more capital can earn around $400 to $1,200 in eight to 10 months.
According to the fish farmers’ action plan for 2020, there are a total of 635 families involved in the project.