Farmer banks on modern fish rearing methods to sustain his ambitious nine-year-old fish project
After a month, the fingerlings are ready for the market. His market is big ponds owners and small-scale farmers. Each fingerling goes for between Sh5 and Sh10 depending on size. Otieno cleans the pond water through biofiltration. Biofiltration is a pollution control technique using a bioreactor containing living material to capture and biologically degrade pollutants. “We use pumice stones to clean the water of bacteria,” he explains. Alongside the hatchery, he also successfully manages cages at the expansive lake. About a kilometre and half off the Bao fish landing beach on Lake Victoria he has stationed 26 cages where about ten percent of fish from the hatchery ends up. Each of the cages is three metres deep with each measuring nine square metres. The cages have about 3,000 fish with harvesting done thrice every week. With each harvest, he gets 400 kilogrammes of fish. “Our harvesting is demand driven. We harvest fish as from 150 grammes to the biggest that we have and prices differ according to the size that is being sold,” says Otieno. From the cage he supplies hospitals, restaurants and individuals with fish. Otieno is challenging more people to venture into large scale fish farming because the demand is insatiable. Though he has everything together, he confesses this journey that started nine years ago as a hobby, has had highs and lows. However, this journey has not gone without challenges. First, producing over 100,000 fingerlings is not easy. “We also experience power blackouts and have to run a backup generator which adds on to the expenses.
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