Research Article

The role of smallholder pond aquaculture in livelihoods diversification, income, and food security. A Case of Kushinga fish-farmers, Masvingo, Zimbabwe  

Hawa Mangeni , Wilson Mhlanga
Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2019, Vol. 9, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/ija.2019.09.0003
Received: 30 Oct., 2019    Accepted: 23 Nov., 2019    Published: 09 Dec., 2019
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Mangeni H., and Mhlanga W., 2019, The role of smallholder pond aquaculture in livelihoods diversification, income, and food security. A case of kushinga Fish-Farmers, masvingo, zimbabwe, International Journal of Aquaculture, 9(3): 16-25 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2019.09.0003)


This study was conducted to determine the role of smallholder aquaculture in promoting fish production and enhancing livelihood diversification, income, dietary diversity and food security at household level. A case study approach was used and was based on the 20-member Kushinga fish farming group in Masvingo District, Zimbabwe. Production data were obtained from on-farm records while all other data were obtained using a Questionnaire survey. Annual fish production was 263kg, 156,5kg, 88kg, 166kg, and 194.8kg in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. This production was equivalent to 760 kg/ha/year, 452 kg/ha/year, 254 kg/ha/year, 480 kg/ha/year and 560 kg/ha/year respectively. Annual income from fish farming for the group ranged from US$490 to US$2,322. Revenue from fish farming was used to start an apiculture and piggery project. Additional income was obtained from these two projects. The fish farming project was an additional livelihood option and all households reported increased income, dietary diversity and food security. The fish farmers faced several constraints that hampered increased fish production. These constraints included lack of credit finance to buy inputs, unavailability of feed and limited technical expertise among the farmers. It is recommended that the relevant stakeholders should make concerted efforts to address these challenges so as to enhance the important role of smallholder fish farming both at the household level and the national level. Extension service providers should also assist the farmers’ in boosting their technical expertise in apiculture and pig-production so as to enhance income from these additional enterprises.

Fish farming; Fish production; Nile Tilapia; Oreochromis niloticus; rural households; Zimbabwe
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