Rwanda Animal Resources Improvement Cooperative
Kimironko Promise House ,3rd Floor , Room7
Mon-Thursday: 07:00 - 17:00
Friday: 07:00 - 15:00

Fish farming was introduced in Rwanda at the end of the 1940s by the Belgian colonial administration as a subsistence farming activity (MINAGRI, 2011). The colonial administration constructed two main fingerlings production centres at the Ecole des Assistants Agricoles de Butare in 1952 and the Kigembe Station in 1954. The Kigembe fish station was established to provide fish fingerlings and extension services to the small-scale farmers. In 1959, many existing ponds were abandoned, and infrastructure destroyed due to civil strife. During the period 1960-1965, the development of fish culture in Rwanda came to a standstill.

From 1967 to 1973, the Government undertook the revitalization of fish farming through various UNDP/FAO projects, focusing on small holder subsistence aquaculture. It was characterized by low inputs and low outputs, based on pond fertilization from livestock wastes. The projects reactivated the Kigembe Centre and carried out trials on culture of the common carp (Cyprinuscarpio), Tilapia species and catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Tilapia fingerlings were produced and several ponds in rural areas were stocked.

These projects were followed by several others including the

  • National Aquaculture Project (Projet Pisciculture Nationale – PPN) financed from 1983 to 1988 by the USAID to support aquaculture sustainability.
  • In the 80-90’s, Belgian inter-university cooperation (K.U. Leuven, University of Namur) and USAID funded a number of projects. The Pond Dynamics/Collaborative Research Support Program (PD/CRSP) was carried out in collaboration with Universities in the USA and has focused on aquaculture research and development and the transfer of knowledge and technology into the country. Artificial breeding and rearing of African catfish was introduced in this period through the Clarias project funded by the Flemish Inter-University cooperation with K.U. Leuven.
  • After the 90’s, the University of Namur supported projects of integrated fish farming systems in swamp area, the potential of rearing rabbits over fish ponds to fertilize earthen ponds and the use of local agricultural byproducts in feeds for African catfish.
  • 2000-2003: Cage culture of fish has been carried out in Rwanda in Lake Kivu by fishermen cooperatives through FAO and USAID funding.
  • 2006-2013: Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Project (PAIGELAC) was funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of Rwandan. It has imported 5.6 million fingerlings of Oreochromis niloticus from Uganda (Lake Albert) to the Kigembe Station to produce bloodstock for the supply of fingerlings. The project rehabilitated nearly 218 ha of abandoned fish ponds and stocked them with Tilapia fingerlings. Fish farmers have been organized under cooperatives and given various forms of support ranging from training, study tours to direct provision of inputs.

However, the aforementioned long list of farmers’ support projects provided positive result during its mandates, and each time at the expiry, production declined, and ponds were abandoned at the end of the projects, clearly demonstrating a lack of sustainability. Farmers did not have funds to buy feed and fingerlings as money from fish selling was not reinvested in fish farming. In order to achieve the targeted production of 112,000MT in PSTA4 (, ponds need to be rehabilitated, stocked with good fingerlings, then after followed up day to day to ensure enhanced productivity. The fish farmers have to be trained and accompanied in their daily activities related to fish farming to develop hands-on skills.

In 2020 RARICO won a tender of RAB/MINAGRI entitled “Promoting Fish Farming in Ponds and Manage Properly Rwandan Lakes”


Extension services plays an important role in the development of aquaculture. Present study assessed the status of aquaculture extension services in Rwanda. The study examined the socio-economic characteristics of fish farmers (specifically managers and owners of fish farms), the respondent’s assessment of extension services available to them and their general expectation from extension workers.


We understand that your property is a big investment and we want our customers to know that we are there for them to help them accomplish the dreams that they may have for there property . We want our customers to be there from the moment we get to the job until the end of the job so that they can have as much input.







Key Benefits of the Service

Aquaculture or fish farming accounts for over 50% of the world market for fish products. As global populations continue to increase, wild populations of commercially captured fish can no longer support this demand.  Aquaculture provides an efficient means of protein production.

Economic feasibility
Food safety
Environmentally friendly ways for farmed fish and shellfish production.
Best management practices for the sustainability