15 Counties benefit from govt input to boost fish farming
Fish farmers in 15 Counties across the country have received assorted inputs and equipment from the National Government to boost fisheries production.
Speaking at the Kisii Agricultural Training Centre during the launch of the inputs distribution to farmers, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Francis Owino, said the exercise is set to improve fish farming under the Big Four Agenda pillar on Food Security.
”The support being given by the National Government is among intervention measures to support smallholder fish farmers in 15 Counties across the country,” Dr Owino said
The PS called for close collaboration between farmers and National Government administrators to weed out theft of the commodity from farmers’ ponds across the county.
While encouraging the use of modern methods to increase their production capacity, he noted that fish numbers in the lake region were diminishing, with the next frontier in fish production now expected to be through aquaculture.
Recently, the PS revealed a lack of quality fingerlings and expensive feeds delaying the implementation of the Ksh.15 billion Aquaculture Business Development Programme that was to increase fish production by over 60 percent.
This means Kenya will still be forced to continue importing fish to meet its consumption needs.
Kisii County is among the counties leading in inland fishing in Kenya. It has 2,173 active farmers registered by the County Government with more than 2,300 fish ponds.
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The County has heavily invested in fishing by helping aquaculture farmers through the provision of fingerlings, majorly tilapia and catfish at friendly costs.
According to the Kisii County Director of Fisheries Edwin Muga, there are two programs currently running in the county that include the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) funded program and Agriculture Business Development Program (ABDP)
ABDP is the program currently helping culture fish farmers with fingerlings. Culture fish farming is a type of aquaculture practiced in regions that are not close to water bodies.
Currently Kenya produces 400 thousand metric tonnes of fish and an annual consumption of 600,000 metric tons.
With supportive input by Collins Ogutu