Government moves to increase earnings from fishing sector

Fish traders at Ogal beach along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The government has embarked on the development and rehabilitation of infrastructure across the country to help fishermen maximise on earnings.

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya said the fish landing infrastructure is designed to provide for landing, handling, cold storage and mini-processing of fish for value addition.

The CS spoke in Mombasa during the induction of county executive committee members and chief officers in charge of agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

He said the ministry would empower artisanal fishermen with training and issue them with modern gear that would enable them undertake deep sea fishing to increase their earnings.

"Already the ministry has acquired three medium-sized deep sea going vessels and is in the process of equipping them," said Mvurya.

The ministry has established fish landing sites in the Lake Victoria region, with Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay benefiting.

Others have been set up at the Coast in Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa and Taita Taveta.

Financial support

Mvurya said that with fishermen already organised in beach management units, the target now is to institute them into Saccos to enable them to seek financial support from money lending institutions.

He said the government is working with private sector to strengthen deep sea fishing, more so in the Exclusive Economic Zones, and have the processing and storage of the fish done locally.

"We also envisage partnering with the private sector to have investment in mills, which will enable processing as well as value addition of our products and influence exports as well.

"A good example is the Huawen EPZ at Kibuyuni, which deals with anchovy processing and export."

He said the government was also engaging with the private sector in the areas of boat building and maintenance and shipping yards, where youth will get training and improve their skills.

This is expected to reduce the cost of having to take ships and boats to other countries for repairs while creating jobs locally.

"To create more interest in the maritime field, we are investing in Bandari Maritime Academy," said Mvurya.

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