Senegal: Aquaculture changes the daily activities of Fatou

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Thanks to Fatou Kiné GNING, fish farming has finally made it to Nguékhokh, a region not far from Mbour. Being the first one to get into aquaculture, Fatou has earned more than a million FCFA in just six months. Her goal today is to construct other basins to satisfy the demand of her clients which is increasing.

“There is no other activity that is more profitable than aquaculture. In just six months, I have become a millionaire,” says Fatou Kiné Gning with a smile. It’s mid-December in Guékhokh, about 10km from the commune of Mbour. Fatou Kiné hurries to get to the training centre for local development in Sindia, where she farms small fish since last April. Dressed in a red dress, Fatou, in her forties, asks her assistant to prepare the feed for the fish.

In the centre, there is a big area that has been organised for the activity. Inside, there are two big basins of 220 m2 and a water reservoir of over 5 metres which attracts the attention of people.

fatou-epandageTwo basins for 3500 fish

In the shade of a tree, Fatou supervises her assistant Ameth Touré, who is weighing the fish meal. Next to it, the fish are agitating in the greenish water. When the weighing is done, Fatou comes and takes over. With a bowl in her hand, she goes to the basins to “serve” these animals in freshwater. “Each day, these vertebrates consume over three kilos of fish meal,’’ she informs under the watchful eye of Ameth.

Yet, no one thought that this woman who was involved in a small business, would forge her way into aquaculture and employ over ten women. Indeed, Fatou Kiné got interested into it when in 2015 when she visited a place in Saint Louis where they do fish farming. “I was delighted! It’s from there that I have developed my project for this activity in Nguékhokh,” she recalls.

This is how she has has been able to secure a space at the training centre for development in Sindia, whereby the National Agency of Aquaculture (ANA) constructed two basins in 2015. But the activities really started last April, when these two basins got over 3500 fish.

One tonne of fish in seven months

In the past years, Senegal has launched a policy for the development of aquaculture. Hatcheries, nurseries, pre-growth and on-growing infrastructures have been put in place a bit everywhere. These have had some effects, according to the technician, Amadou Aïdara, of the ANA. “The national aquaculture production has increased from 40 tonnes in 2012 to 1,500 tonnes in 2015,” indicates Amadou, who supports entrepreneurs like Fatou who have contributed to this growth.

It’s in this way that Mr. Aïdara salutes the innovation and entrepreneurial mind-set of this lady. “The moment when no woman dared to venture into it, she has stopped her small business to get into aquaculture. She has accepted to be trained on the farming system, its management, and others. In return, she has trained a dozen of women who today works with her”, says the technician. “And it’s thanks to her that the women in Joan, Sindia, Ngaparou and Toubab Dialao are practicing aquaculture”.

Among the women that Fatou has trained, there is also Oulimata Sakho who is very glad of the job that Fatou is doing. “Fatou is full of energy. She is the first one in the farm and the last one to leave. She does not hesitate to get down deep in the basin to see the progress of the fish”.

Besides, the fish in these two basins in April had attained 300g in November. Fatou and her colleagues have made their first sale. “I sell one kilo at 1,500 FCFA. I have sold more than one tonne of fish for over one million FCFA,” indicates Fatou with satisfaction.

Today, more than convinced of the profitability of her activity, Fatou plans to construct new ponds to satisfy the increasing demand.

Ababacar Guèye

Translation: @Nawsheenh

 

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