The Star (Nairobi)

22 September 2012

Kenya: Sh5.7 Billion Spent in Fish Farming Programme

Implementation of the fish farming enterprise and productivity programme since 2009 has consumed Sh5.7 billion, Kenya's Ministry of Fisheries Development has said. The programme is currently engaging about 150,000 fish farmers in 160 constituencies, each of which has 300 fish ponds on average.

"A target of 48,000 ponds set at the start of the programme has been surpassed," said Eliud Muchendu, the public communications officer. Amason Kingi, the Fisheries Development minister, said fish breeding programme with a capacity of over 200,000 brood-stocks has been developed. A national aquaculture suitability appraisal has also developed maps for 210 constituencies and all ponds built have been mapped using the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

Kingi yesterday hosted his Ugandan counterpart Ruth Ssentamu who was in the country to learn first-hand about Kenya's success story in fish farming. "She will visit fish farmers in Kajiado and Kiambu counties to see how they are doing it. Uganda intends to implement a similar programme," Muchendu said.

Fish farmers are usually aided to build the ponds and are then guided through the first and second harvests before they are left on their own. The ministry is currently installing cold storage facilities where farmers are concentrated, besides other value addition initiatives, Muchendu said. Kingi said the ministry has also purchased palletising machines to enable farmers make their own fish feed.

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