Unlocking Uganda’s Aquaculture Potential: Insights from the Aquaculture Cottage Industry Conference

April 17, 2024by Alex Agaba0

On Monday, April 8th, 2024, the Aquaculture Cottage Industry Conference convened over 300 participants at Gudie Leisure Farm to delve into strategies for enhancing the productivity, profitability, and competitiveness of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Uganda’s aquaculture industry. With a diverse lineup of speakers from both the industry and government sectors, the conference provided invaluable insights and actionable recommendations for stakeholders across the aquaculture value chain.

Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza – MD and founder Gudie Leisure Farm
Dr. Basaza, the Managing Director and Founder of Gudie Leisure Farm, set the tone for the conference by emphasizing the importance of collaboration across the aquaculture value chain. She highlighted the role of Gudie Leisure Farm in building a network of over 211,000 youth engaged in aquaculture across 960 parishes. Dr. Basaza underscored the need for standardized production practices to address challenges such as the declining contribution of fishing activities to Uganda’s GDP and the country’s significant fish importation.

Justus Rutaisire PhD – Aquafarm consults Ltd
Justus Rutaisire, from Aquafarm consults Ltd, traced the origins of aquaculture back to biblical times and emphasized its pivotal role in feeding the world’s growing population. He underscored the exponential growth of aquaculture globally and highlighted the need for sustainable practices to ensure continued productivity.

Justus Rutaisire PhD -Aquafarm consults Ltd at Gudie Leisure Farm
Justus Rutaisire PhD, Aquafarm consults Ltd

Dr. Papius Dias Mugarura Tibihika – ARDC-NARO
Dr. Tibihika elaborated on the investment opportunities in Uganda’s aquaculture industry, citing the country’s favorable climate, abundant water resources, and high market demand. He emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting the industry through policies and programs aimed at boosting production and employment opportunities.

Namulawa Victoria Tibenda PhD – Aquaculture Research & Development Centre
Dr. Tibenda focused on value addition opportunities in the aquaculture industry, highlighting the importance of fish preservation techniques and non-conventional value-added fish products. She stressed the need for MSEs to treat their enterprises as proper businesses and adhere to marketing principles for success.

Philip Borel – Ttende Innovations Farm
Philip Borel highlighted Uganda’s untapped aquaculture potential and the need for strategic actions to address profitability issues faced by fish farming companies. He underscored the significant benefits of increased fish production, including nutrition, employment, and export opportunities.

Kakuru John Baptist – Fisheries Training Institute, Entebbe
Kakuru John Baptist outlined best practices for fish farming, emphasizing the importance of providing essential resources such as food, oxygen, and water. He encouraged MSEs to adopt multi-tank systems for year-round production and harvest.

Noreen Kamoti – Uganda Export Promotion Board
Noreen Kamoti discussed the steps MSEs should take to enter and thrive in the export market, emphasizing the importance of export readiness and market customization. She highlighted the vast opportunities for Ugandan products in the global market.

Nalukwago Rose – Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
Nalukwago Rose outlined government policies and programs supporting the aquaculture industry, including targets for increased production and employment. She highlighted interventions aimed at strengthening the industry’s regulatory framework, infrastructure, and technical capacity.

Twaha Kayondo – Uganda Revenue Authority
Twaha Kayondo from Uganda Revenue Authority provided insights into business registration and tax compliance requirements for MSEs. He emphasized the importance of formalizing businesses and obtaining tax identification numbers to facilitate growth and compliance.

Kobusingye Lovin – KATI Farms Ltd.
Kobusingye Lovin shared her entrepreneurial journey with KATI Farms Ltd. and emphasized the importance of savings, research, and product innovation in business success. She highlighted the value of offering unique products and leveraging word-of-mouth marketing.

 Kobusingye Lovin - KATI Farms Ltd.
Kobusingye Lovin, KATI Farms Ltd.


Lumu Bob Rogers – Uganda Registration Services Bureau
Lumu Bob Rogers discussed the role of Uganda Registration Services Bureau in registering intellectual property and providing business support services. He emphasized the strategic use of intellectual property rights to gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Francis Kabuye – Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Uganda
Francis Kabuye highlighted the business development services offered by the Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Uganda to support MSEs. He underscored the lucrative opportunities in fish farming and the importance of accessing finance, markets, and training for business success.

In conclusion, the Aquaculture Cottage Industry Conference provided a comprehensive overview of Uganda’s aquaculture industry and actionable recommendations for MSEs to enhance their productivity, profitability, and competitiveness. With collaboration between stakeholders and strategic interventions, Uganda has the potential to unlock significant economic opportunities and contribute to food security and employment generation.

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