Catfish farming requires much more than stocking a pond with fish, feeding them, and sitting back to reap the profits a few months later.
Fish farmer Gertrude Babirye says catfish farming requires a large investment, carries a high risk and needs intensive management almost 24 hours a day.
Her farm is located in Naluvule village, Wakiso district. She first started with tilapia in 2013, and switched to catfish, locally known as Semutundu, two years later and now she has more than 10,000 catfish in her four ponds.
Catfish farming requires one to have an adequate piece of land in addition to a consistent flow of good-quality water to ensure optimal growth of the fish. Experienced fish farmers also recommend natural flowing clean water from a stream.
Babirye says the size and depth of the fish pond matter as they provide a conducive environment for the fish to grow. The water in the pond must be treated before the fish is put into it.
Babirye has fixed times to feed her fish, which she does twice daily. She personally mixes her fish feed, and adds some fresh meat as well.
The farmer says the bush around the ponds must be cleared to protect them from predators like snakes. Birds can also been a huge challenge.
Babirye says the market for the catfish is available and because the demand is high, the buyers come looking for her. She has even set up a fresh fish stall near her home.