About Us - objectives

Aquaculture Zimbabwe's chief objectives are:

i. To facilitate the sustainable development and growth of freshwater aquaculture and fisheries activities as a poverty      alleviation and livelihood measure for the resource poor amongst vulnerable groups by developing rural freshwater     aquaculture and fisheries in Zimbabwean communities.

ii. To increase rural food security, dietary diversity, incomes and livelihood options of poor smallholder farmers in     Zimbabwe through integrated farming systems that complement the multi-functionality of agriculture, enhancing water     and soil fertility options.

iii. To develop an innovative and sustainable Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture and Fisheries that promotes
     bio-diversity,traceability and environmental security native to the Zimbabwean set up at all levels of the sector. 

Aquaculture Zimbabwe Trust arose from the realization that the current local and global food shortages are set to persist and they need serious counter strategies. A large proportion of the population of Zimbabwe is dependent on subsistence agriculture, and poverty in this segment is a consequence of low agricultural productivity, especially in areas with inadequate resource endowment such as poor soils and erratic rainfall. In the most densely populated areas of the country, diminishing average farm sizes and yields have undermined both food availability and income generation from cash crops at the household level. Traditional fishing communities have not benefited from fishing resources for many years due to an assortment of reasons that range from a lack of government support to poor methods of conserving the resource. Therefore establishing affordable and sustainable farming systems targeting the disadvantaged rural small-holder farmers, orphaned and vulnerable families is the most effective way forward as it seeks to improve the per capita incomes of the rural communities, thereby solving the problem of unemployment, mitigating unnecessary rural to urban migrations and countering poverty. Aquaculture Zimbabwe strives to achieve an equitable, gender balanced sustainable empowerment drive for the benefit of the traditionally marginalized, orphaned and vulnerable groups of people in Zimbabwe. Projects such as Women in Aquaculture have been designed to specifically meet this end. Aquaculture farming systems constitute an agricultural dimension that has never been adequately explored and utilized before in Zimbabwe while other countries' gross domestic products largely hinge on aquaculture and fisheries activities. Gross negligence of this critical component of agriculture in a country with a lot of freshwater bodies like Zimbabwe has seen serious marginalization of the poor people who cannot afford to till the land due to the high costs of inputs and poor prices of the product. Good nutritional status is both an outcome of and an input to human development. Factors contributing to the nutritional status of the country extend beyond lack of food to include ill health, inadequate care and unsafe water and environmental systems. Implementing innovative practices and processes in the development of community based aquaculture and also promoting learning about how to maximize the available resources by using affordable and eco-friendly technologies thereby creating opportunities for growth to overcome poverty. Zimbabwe is experiencing a rapidly accelerating vicious cycle of environmental degradation and poverty, which is threatening the ecosystem as a whole and the natural resource base in particular. Both issues, environmental degradation and poverty, must be dealt with simultaneously for the cycle to be broken. Some major environmental issues that are related to aquaculture and fisheries development and irrigation development in Zimbabwe are soil erosion, siltation, water pollution and its undesirable ecological impacts. Annual soil losses are estimated at 100 tonnes per hectare with the most severely affected being communal lands while commercial lands are better. Most of the country's rivers dry up a few months after the rainy season due to lack of storage and siltation. By the end of each dry season, major rivers such as the Limpopo and Save become rivers of sand with only scattered pools. Poverty reduction and environmental sustainability cannot be separated. This is because there exists a threshold below which those failing the daily dilemma of survival become destructive to simply survive. The resource poor farmers cannot afford to make natural resource investments in terms of conservation unless their basic needs are met first. The Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture and Fisheries ensures that all these aspects are well addressed. Aquaculture Zimbabwe is working towards long term sustainable food security and stability through tackling aspects of aquaculture development that, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, merit high priority because of their potential to benefit the poor and the vulnerable.

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The Trust seeks to continuously and increasingly improve the capacity of local communities in merging their crop production systems with sustainable, eco-friendly aquaculture production systems to play a more effective role in overcoming poverty and improving on food security through effective training, support and monitoring measures. Aquaculture Zimbabwe is working with existing NGOs that include (or wish to include) aquaculture in their portfolio by assisting in general aquaculture guidance, project design, management and evaluation. An innovative ecosystem approach to aquaculture will be used as the strategy for the integration of the activity within the wider ecosystem in such a way that it promotes sustainable development, equity and resilience of interlinked social and ecological systems. The Board of Trustees insists that independent (post project) economic viability will be ensured in the projects that we support and that they will promote sustainable and responsible forms of aquaculture, guaranteeing sustainable food security 
and community-level employment.