Cuts in imports of fisheries products which traditionally supplemented domestic fish production, have led to Zambia facing a fish deficit, unable to efficiently meet customers’ demand.
Carol Moonga’s goal is to supply clean, fresh, healthy and affordable products to consumers while putting Zambia on the map to be a breadbasket of Africa and the world at large.
Founder of Kacachi General Dealers, Carol, was raised by her mom and grandmother who solely depended on the farm produce to feed and educate the family.
Her agricultural background and inspiration from family, led the 27-year-old to start chicken farming after which she ventured into fish farming.
However, Carol also doubles as medical assistant. She tells the Tony Elumelu Foundation more about venturing into fish farming and solving the problem of food security in Zambia:
“We started the aquaculture business after noticing the problem of fish scarcity and skyrocketing prices of fish in the market and applying for the TEF entrepreneurship programme in 2019.
A study in the Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research revealed that obtaining quality fish feed is a challenge for producers,with some reporting that feed was their largest production expenditure per annum. Although the business is currently in its early stages, Carol says she is looking to one day produce home grown feed that will be beneficial to fish farmers in Zambia.
Between entrepreneurship and a job
Many entrepreneurs are familiar with the feeling of running a business while maintaining a job in order to accommodate the uncertainties of the business, and Carol is not an exemption.
In her plan, she will need to buy more land to meet her target before taking the leap.
However, before taking that leap, here’s some advice she recommends to entrepreneurs thinking about starting in the industry:
Entrepreneurs should do their due diligence
Do not go in blind; Understand the business terrain in order to plan for pitfalls.
Entrepreneurs should focus on being problem solvers
“One thing I learnt from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the focus on solving a problem,” Carol says. When you solve a problem, people come to you for the solution.
Entrepreneurs should be sure that they have the market
Look for the market in time before product or business is ready. Doing your research and making sure you have a ready market for your business is one of the most important factors of starting out. It also helps to avoid wasting time on a product or service that no one needs or can’t afford to pay for.
For the aquaculture industry to fully realise in Zambia, Carol believes more players are needed in the aquaculture space to ensure the long-term stability of the sector and alleviate pressure on Zambia’s natural fisheries.