Kirinyaga farmers have turned to goldfish farming, a lucrative and less time-consuming farming method with higher returns than traditional aquaculture.
Michael Chomba a farmer, said such farming doesn’t need a lot of engagement. “At the moment, ornamental fish have a ready market, which is the main challenge for farmers who take up aquaculture,” he said.
He said most farmers prefer tilapia and catfish farming, which is tiring and needs a lot of monitoring to avoid inbreeding.
“A tilapia or catfish will take at least a year before reaching maturity, but for goldfish, it’s just three months,” he said.
While buying fingerlings at the Sagana fisheries, one fish goes for Sh50.
“Imagine with 400 pieces and a maturity period of four months, you make Sh20,000 for a single harvest,” said Chomba.
A hatchery is separate from the rearing pond. After attaining a certain stage, the fingerlings are transferred to the main pond, where the process of collecting eggs continues.
Collection of eggs includes the use of a sac stripped of its fibres, tied to a tree, and put in a pond to collect the eggs in a separate hatchery.
In the morning, Chomba feeds the fish at 10 a.m.; this is ideal since they can be seen swimming up.
‘Ornamental fish will swim up more when it is sunny or warm, when it rains they will come up but for a short time,” said Chomba.
A retired teacher named Samuel Maina, who has also taken to these farming, noted that it’s a stress-free job.
“With feed and water in the ponds, there is nothing to worry about,” said Maina.