The fish farming campaign in Kenya’s counties
The fish farming campaign is an initiative by the Kenyan Department of Agriculture, livestock, and fisheries. It is running the “Eat more fish campaign” to encourage farmers to grow more fish and consumers to eat more fish.
The campaign meanly aims at increasing the income, food security, and nutrition status of wider communities of the poor rural household according to the government.
This campaign is been conducted across counties, one of them being Nyeri county. Nyeri county government has also taken another step of educating fish farming to farmers by helping them to interact with the county fishery officers and learn about various effective fish husbandry techniques that will help boost their fish farming, the importance of cleaning fish, better packaging, and also health benefit of fish consumption.
Kenyan farmers are embracing this idea of fish farming as it is increasingly becoming a preferred practice in many parts of Kenya.
In Machakos County, the fish farming campaign was received with both hands. In Kiani village in Machakos County stands Kamothaga fish farm located at the foot of moa hills. The farm specializes in breeding and laying of tilapia from fingerling to maturity in an area where water is a major challenge. The farm gets its water from a borehole. It then pumps it to the fish ponds and this water is later used for irrigation making sure no water is wasted.
The hatcher of this farm is located just a few meters from the main farm and produces a total of about 200,000 fingerlings every month. The entire system is electrically powered from fish water to ventilation. The fingerlings not sold are transferred to a growth chamber tank where they follow a feeding schedule during their growing period. Temperature, PH, Ammonia level are controlled as well. Due to the use of technology, fish here are harvested from 4-6 months compared to eight-month in normal ponds. This system ensures that the fish pond water is clean as it cleans the left-over feed. The farm also keeps track of the fish stock.
The main challenge is the high cost of power.
In Kirinyaga County, the fish farming campaign is also a success story. The Sagana Fishery is the carrier of this project. This research institution has initiated aquaculture research projects aiming at increasing fish growth, high yield, greater productivity, and ultimately improving survival rates.
This innovation will enable fish farmers to produce high-quality products with fewer resources.
Article by Jane Wambura
Article by Jane Wambura