Harnassing Floating Cage Technology to Increase Fish Production in Uganda

The fishery sub-sector is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Uganda’s economy (estimated at US$ 135 million) after coffee. However, declining trends in annual fish production are a real threat in terms of the loss of potential foreign exchange earnings, household income and food security. This study demonstrates that favourable international fish prices have supported steady foreign exchange earnings in Uganda amidst declining fish volumes. To enable Uganda to take advantage of this opportunity, innovations capable of overcoming supply side constraints will play a critical role. This paper found that aquaculture has tremendous potential to stir growth of the fishery industry as well as generate employment. The results demonstrate that innovative technology such as floating cage culture is a more productive system in comparison to capture fishery - a farmer using floating cage technology produces 12 times more tonnage per annum than his or her counterparts practising capture fishery. Therefore, to increase fish production, adoption of cage farming technology must be expanded. Policy gaps were identified that delimit the development of aquaculture in Uganda, which must be remedied. Policy lessons are drawn from China and Egypt – with the most successful stories in aquaculture technology and support services, which enormously increased fish farming productivity and exports.