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County in talks to export ‘omena’ to Europe

By By JAMES OMORO | November 11th 2013


HOMA BAY COUNTY, KENYA: The Homa Bay County government has announced that it would soon start exporting the omena fish species to Europe if on-going business discussions succeed.

Governor Cyprian Awiti and a delegation from the Isle of Man, a little known but wealthy country neighbouring England and Ireland, met on Friday to kick-start the negotiations that could see fishermen double earnings from their efforts.

The country’s minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture Phil Gawne said investors from his country were keen on importing omena in large quantities from Homa Bay.

Gawne took with him a sample of iced fresh omena to show to the investors in his country.

Homa Bay harvests 35,000 metric tons of the small fish species per year, much of which is consumed locally.

“There is a lot of interest on this fish species in my country.  Many investors are waiting for me at the airport in Ireland to see the samples. They are very keen on doing business with the people of Homa Bay,” said Gawne.

The Government currently regulates harvesting of omena from the lake to stop over-fishing of the species, most of which is dried and sold in major towns and even in supermarkets. 

The Government has imposed a ban on fishing between April and July every year, so as to allow multiplication of the species.

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