The impact of smallholder freshwater aquaculture on fish production, household income and food security: a case of Chivi and Masvingo District
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A study was conducted to quantify fish production at household level, compare household income level, income sources before and after the adoption of rural smallholder freshwater aquaculture within each district and to determine fish consumption per household in Chivi and Masvingo district. Despite the introduction of rural freshwater aquaculture in Chivi and Masvingo district poverty persisted amongst the vulnerable groups in the two district. The study used questionnaire to collect qualitative on household income sources before the adoption of rural freshwater aquaculture and household demographics. A purposive sampling was used to select districts where small scale fish farming is practiced. Questionnaire where administered through an interview to 72 small scale fish farming in Masvingo and Chivi. SPSS version 16 was used to analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data were extracted from farmer’s production records books from October 2012 to October2013 through document review method. A parametric test (t-test) was used to analyse quantitative data on household’s income level before and after the adoption of rural freshwater aquaculture in Chivi and Masvingo district. The results of the study showed that, casual labour (23.6%), remittances (19.6%), and vegetable selling (13.4%) were major income sources in Chivi and Masvingo district. There was a significant deference on household income level before and after the adoption of aquaculture practice in Masvingo and Chivi Province (p<0.05). There was higher annual fish production in Masvingo (1674.5kg) than Chivi (1004.5kg). 11 kilogram’s was the highest and 2kg was the lowest fish consumed per household from October 2012 to October 2013. It was therefore concluded that, small scale fish farming in Masvingo and Chivi Province have a significant contribution in household income hence government and other stakeholder should support small-scale fish farming by offering loans to small scale fish farmers so as to boost their fish production.