The Government and six counties have signed a deal to promote fish farming and consumption in their counties.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has allocated Sh14 billion for the initiative dubbed Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) that is expected to cover 15 counties.
Yesterday, Meru, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kakamega, Homa Bay and Migori signed a memorandum of understanding to implement ABDP.
According to Fisheries Principal Secretary Micheni Ntiba, the future of fish farming does not lie in natural sources such as Lake Victoria where fish stocks are rapidly declining, but in dams, reservoirs and ponds.
“It is sad to say that every Kenyan consumes an average of 1.5 kilogramme per year. We want this number to increase,” said Prof Ntiba.
“By 2022, we plan to have each Kenyan consuming an average of 10 kilogrammes of fish per year,” he said.
The Government plans to increase fish production to 500,000 metric tonnes by 2022.
The governors welcomed the new initiative, saying it was a boon for food security and nutrition.
“We also want to create wealth from fish farming,” said Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga
Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri said the region was conducive for fish farming while his counterpart from Kakamega, Philip Kitumi, said the initiative would boost employment.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi called on the six counties to create a one-stop centre for fish farmers.
“A Kenya Fish Commission where fish farmers can bring their harvest will be critical in this initiative,” Kiraitu advised.
The programme’s coordinator, Sam Macharia, said fisheries and technical officers have been deployed to the counties to train residents on fish farming.
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