By Patience Lunda:
The Department of Fisheries has bemoaned the practice of wanton cutting down of trees, saying it promotes siltation of fish ponds.
Regional Fisheries Officer, David Mbamba, said the two practices cause soil erosion and flooding during the rainy season, thereby contributing to fish scarcity in ponds.
Mbamba made the remarks during a tripartite launch Mzuzu Agriculture Development Division organised in Rumphi District.
“The harmful human practices will result in soil being carried away from the catchment area to where we are constructing ponds thereby burying the ponds, a situation we are calling siltation,” he said.
Deputy Director of Land Resources Survey and Evaluation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Gilbert Kupunda, said wanton cutting down of trees and cultivation along river banks were not only affecting fish farming but agriculture in general.
“The ministry is promoting sustainable agriculture to curb the problem of wanton cutting down of trees and cultivation along river banks because it is the immediate cause of soil erosion,” he said.
Senior Deputy Director in the Department of Agricultural Research Services, Tony Maulana, who presided over the event, urged chiefs to sensitise their subjects to the dangers of engaging in such harmful practices.
The theme for this year’s tripartite launch was ‘Soil Nutrition Restoration, Irrigation and Fodder Preservation: Key to Climate Change Resilience’.
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