Fourteen counties are set to benefit from a sh. 14 billion fish farming initiative being spearheaded by the national government.
The program which seeks to strengthen the aquaculture value chain will be implemented through the Aquaculture Business Development Program (ABDP) and will mainly focus on fish production and marketing.
Previous fish farming programs are said to have focused on enhancing production with little or no emphasis on providing the market for the produce. This left farmers with bountiful harvests without a ready market.
The fourteen counties targeted to benefit are Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado, Kakamega, Homabay, Migori, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Kisii.
In Nyeri, the county government has embarked on a raft of measures to ensure that local fish farmers benefit from the initiative. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, and ABDP, farmers are being engaged in an extensive training exercise dubbed “Fish for health and wealth.”
“The objective is to teach farmers how to increase their income through fish farming, promote food security and create employment opportunities for people,” said a brief from the county communications department.
Rehabilitation of fish ponds, provision of cover nets and fish feeds have also been identified as keys areas that need to be addressed in order to boost the lucrative sector.