The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Market for Fish Farmers

A farmers lobby says it has found a ready market for fish, giving hope to many Kenyans who have taken up the farming in the rural areas.

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers is now urging fish farmers, especially in Central Kenya, not to abandon the enterprise but take advantage of the new found market to increase production.

The chairman of the lobby Nduati Kariuki said Kenfap has entered into a partnership with a fish marketer - Joy Fish - who has the capacity to buy fish all the fish produced by farmers for both local and export market.

"The marketer has assured us that even if we have 10,000 ponds, he can buy all the fish for both local and foreign market,"Kariuki said. He said the investor has already made several visits to farmers to assess the capacity and in readiness to start buying fish from the farmers.

Speaking at Kimorori Primary School in Makuyu division when addressing farmers, Kariuki said the local and international market was in need of fish especially those reared by farmers in the rural areas.

"There are many investors who want to support fish farming and especially those who have formed groups," said Kariuki Fish farming has taken root in Central Kenya region following a government programme aimed at empowering the youth.

However challenges of getting ready markets have frustrated their efforts and some are considering abandoning the lucrative business forcing KENFAP to intervene.

He called for proper planning and creation of good linkages between farmers and policy makers and government saying thousands of farmers were left in state of frustrations after the fish ponds were prepared in a good government initiative but which did not prepare for the marketing of the produce.

"There are many traders who have expressed hope to buy fish from the farmers. The organization is currently listing down farmers who are willing to sell their fish at a price have been agreed with the organization," said Kariuki.

With support from international donors, he said, KENFAP was committed to safe farmers from exploitation by middle men out to make a kill. Traders who have been contracted by the organization have committed to a tilapia fish at Sh 250 while Cat fish will go for Sh 200.

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