Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa commissioned Lutonye Fish Processing plant in Kakamega County on Tuesday in a bid to diversify into unexploited fish farming opportunities like aquaculture.
After the commissioning, Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Caroline Vicini assured fish farmers in the County of a ready market between Kakamega and the European Union (EU).
This means the plant will provide aquaculture market between Kenya and the EU.
To actualise the initiative, CS Wamalwa challenged Kakamega residents to embrace the opportunity which will go a long way to upscale fish production in the Country.
The plant has a capacity to process 30 metric tonnes of fish per day and it would provide a ready market for farmers in the 14-member Lake Region Economic Block (LREB).
Kakamega boss Wycliffe Oparanya was present during the commissioning and said his administration has already developed infrastructure to ease fish trade within the block.
A perimeter wall has already been constructed around the factory and tarmacked the road from Kakamega to Webuye at Bukhungu Stadium to provide easy access to the plant.
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The National Government initially pumped Ksh.60 million into the construction of the facility during the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in the year 2009-2012, and received an additional investment of Khs.40 million from DAS Kenya Limited for its upgrade.
“We appreciate the DAS Group Kenya Limited for investing over Ksh.40 million to upgrade the facility to meet all the requirements that qualified it to export fish to the much-coveted European Union (EU) market,” said Governor Oparanya.
She said aquaculture would provide a viable economic frontier for the residents who mainly rely on sugarcane and maize for commercial and subsistence purposes.
The County has constructed fish feed warehouse at a cost of Ksh.20 million.
Kakamega County boasts of 6,976 fish farmers with 9,988 fish ponds and has a potential to produce a total of 1,798 metric tonnes of fish in a seven-month production cycle.