Training Conducted on Fish Production

Haramaya University’s Integrated Haramaya Lake Watershed Development Project Office (IHLWDP) conducted training on fish farming and integrated agriculture to 40 model farmers and youth living in the watershed on December 27 and 28, 2022 at the University’s Resource Center.

According to Mr. Dine Reshid, Technical Coordinator of Integrated Haramaya Lake Watershed Development Project, a project run by the Community Engagement and Enterprise Development Vice president Office, has been working on the rehabilitation of the watershed’s deteriorated natural resources and has seen a fruitful progress to accomplish the goals of Integrated Watershed Management, the project engaged in various farmers’ livelihood diversification initiatives in addition to natural resource rehabilitation efforts.

The project has provided model farmers and youth living in the watershed with training on fish production. Mr. Dine said that Ethiopia is known as a land of water tower with a lot of lakes and rivers crossing the boundary and flowing to neighboring countries eroding plenty of fertile soil.

Even though Ethiopia is endowed with plenty of water resource, it has not been utilized for the production of the expected outputs especially for fish production and irrigation. In order to reverse the situation, Haramaya University through ILHWDP Office has been working on the expansion of fish production in Lake Haramaya Watershed and beyond after sharing experiences with Batu Fish and Aquatic Life Research Center and establishing Fish Production and Fish Farm Research Center at HU Main Campus, it was noted.

Farmers dwelling around Lake Haramaya Watershed (LHW) have a long time experience in excavating underground water for irrigating vegetables and khat production. Hence, by considering the reality on the ground, ILHWDP has been engaged in expansion and integration of fish production in the watershed through training farmers and youth and supporting them with fish seeds to help them adopt fish farm.

Mr. Dine added that IHLWDP office is one of those offices under HU’s CEEDVP Office with the objective of rehabilitating the degraded Haramaya Lake Watershed. Beside soil and water conservation works on the hilly upper stream areas of the watershed, the project has been engaged in the dissemination of different Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies and practices to help farmers dwelling in the watershed increase their productivity, enhance resilience to climate change impact and achieve food security, he underlined.

Dr. Yisahak Yusuf, Vice President of Community Services and Enterprise Development of Haramaya University, said that his office has been working deeply with the community in various sectors such as agriculture, education, health, environment, entrepreneurship and so many other community development works in recent times.

Most of the farmers in Haramaya Lake basin are producing various vegetables by drawing water from well.

Dr. Yisahak explained that the main objective of the training is to enable the farmers in the basin to work together with integrated agriculture and fish farming to enable them to easily use the water collected from their backyards for fish farming.

The farmers can easily carry out modern fish farming with the water in their gardens and grow various vegetables in the water, he added.

Dr. Yisahak said when the farmers can use integrated agriculture; they can easily use the water they have stored in their backyards for fish farming. It is said that integrated agriculture not only provides nutritious food from the garden, but also creates a source of income.

At this two days training, 40 (forty) model farmers trainees took part from 10 surrounding rural kebeles.

The participants of the training from different regions of the Haramaya Lake basin said that although they have water to grow various vegetables, they do not have the best fish farming training and species. As a result, they have not been using integrated agriculture with fish farming.

Haramaya University is working in enabling to benefit them by giving such kind of training on appropriate time and they thanked the University and its Management.

One of the trainees, Ahmed Adem from Haramaya Woreda Kuro Farmers Association, appreciated the effort that the University is undertaking to solve problems of the community and said he has received a new knowledge on fish farming which will help him to gain additional income.

Another farmer , Feture Mohammed, from Haramaya Woreda Tinike Farmers Association, said that the training provided to the farmers is very encouraging and will help them to enhance their farm land productivity, improve their livelihood and on fish farming to gaining additional income.

By: Shemsedin Mohammed

Photographs: Tewdiros Lishan