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'Fish farming among pastoral community earnings to grow by 50 per cent'

RIFT VALLEY
By Robert Kiplagat | September 30th 2015
A fishpond in Enasirasa in Narok North sub-county in Narok County.Pastoral communities have been asked to embrace fish farming to boost income and food security.PHOTOS:ROBERT KIPLAGAT.

Some 45,000kg of tilapia and catfish are expected to be harvested this year as the county seeks to ensure the pastoral Maasai community embraces fish farming as an alternative source of income.

Area Director of Fisheries Vincent Kinyua said last year the county harvested 28,400kg of Nile tilapia and over 2,900kg of catfish from various fishponds.

The fisheries official said from the over 30,000kg of last year's harvest, the farmers earned Sh10 million, adding that this is expected to grow by over 50 per cent by the end of this year.

For many years, Narok County residents have been known to practice livestock keeping and production of crops such as wheat, maize and potatoes but fish farming is a new craze in the area.

"When we first introduced fish farming, most of the Maasai who are traditionally livestock keepers used to refer to them as 'snakes' but after a lot of sensitisation campaigns, they are now embracing it though slowly," Mr Kinyua said.

fish-eating campaigns

In order to create awareness and educate the community on fish farming, which they had perceived to be meant for people around lakes, Kinyua said they have been holding fish-eating campaigns.

He said: "We have been holding agricultural field days in various parts of the county mainly to teach the community how to prepare, eat and rear fish under our three 'K' programme." Narok, he said, is importing 950 metric tonnes of fish and fish products for consumption and even fingerlings from neighbouring counties.

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