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State to launch fish farming projects

BUSIA
By | September 6th 2009

By Munene Kamau

Kenya has about 1.4 billion hectares of potential fish farming areas, Fisheries Minister Paul Otuoma says.

He said the country has the capability of realising 11 million metric tonnes of fish annually.

This translates to Sh750 billion per year besides creating job opportunities to thousands of citizens.

It would also create employment for other actors such as fish feed manufacturers, fish processors and traders.

Otuoma was speaking at the Sagana Aquaculture Farm in Kirinyaga on Saturday when he launched a fisheries economic stimulus programme for district fisheries officers from Eastern and Central provinces.

He said the country produces 4,220 metric tonnes of fish, while only 772 hectares are currently under aquaculture since 1920.

He said: "Fish farming will eventually be rolled out in 140 constituencies and digging of ponds has started already."

The minister said the Government has set aside Sh1.12 billion towards the programme and challenged fisheries officers to support it.

"We have now dispatched fish officers to assist farmers to dig ponds," he said.

He said the officers are expected to roll out 200 fishponds per constituency.

He also cautioned the officers against mishandling the funds allocated for the projects.

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