Kisii County is set to benefit from a Ksh. 14.9 billion Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The kitty which is set to benefit other 14 counties, will fund Fish farming activities in order to improve livelihood and economic activities of the natives.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative duped ‘Kuza, Kula Na Kuuza Samaki’ campaign, the County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development Esman Onsarigo said the programme which was negotiated by Governor James Ongwae during the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi will be implemented under the small holder Aquaculture Development and the Aquaculture Value Chain Development.
According to Mr Onsarigo, Fish farming has a high potential for improving livelihoods in the County increasing the income of farmers.
Research shows that between 2013 – 2018, a total of 159,776.67 kilograms of fish valued at Kshs. 49,137,040 was produced locally.
The project will commence on July this year.
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Currently, the county has registered 2,172 active fish farmers who own 2,299 fish ponds occupying a surface area of approximately 631,131 per Meters square.
Onsarigo further urged farmers especially the youth to take advantage of the county’s adequate water which is a prerequisite for Aquaculture.
“If we can adopt Aquaculture in the county, we can increase the current potential of existing ponds and shallow dams which stands 512 metric tons per annum worth over Ksh. 128 million through adopting proper fish husbandry techniques”
To enhance the availability of adequate high-quality fingerlings to fish farmers, the County Government has funded the construction of fish multiplication and demonstration centers in Bomachoge Chache and Bonchari Sub Counties. The Centre in Bomachoge Chache is complete and will be operationalized, while the one in Bomorenda is at 80 per cent completion”, said Onsarigo.
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According to a 2019 World Bank report, Fish farming has a high potential for improving livelihoods in the County if it is adopted and supported by relevant authorities hence the need for the project.
The CECM was Speaking at Nyanturago stadium in Nyaribari Chache Sub county, during the ‘Kuza, Kula Na Kuuza Samaki’ campaign.
He was accompanied by Chief Officer in charge of Agriculture and Cooperative Development Geoffrey Mogire who asked farmers to embrace fish farming.