OVER K149 million has been released by the Citizens Economic and Empowerment Commission (CEEC) under the Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project.
The funds are meant to benefit about 1,547 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) along the aquaculture value chain.
The project was initially meant to facilitate the development of at least 2,924 SMEs of which 2, 400 are smallholder fish producers while about 500 are value chain actors.
CEEC Public Relations Manager Michelo Mukata confirmed this development in a statement.
Mr Mukata said the commission adopted the value chain development approach even with disbursement as guided by the department of fisheries.
“We started with first seeing the producers who are fish farmers involved in pond and cage farming as well as the development of nurseries then we will trickle down to the fish processors and marketer,” he explained.
Mr Mukata said in the next phase of the project, CEEC will be disbursing funds to fish processors and marketers as part of the value chain process.
The CEEC are the fund manager of the aquaculture seed fund which is the component of the aquaculture enterprise development project being implemented by the government through the ministry of fisheries and livestock with support from the African Development Bank.
The project is aimed at contributing to economic growth as well as provide food and nutrition security in the country.