Market News

Agency injects Sh14bn to revive fish farming

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Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The money will support farmers along the fish value chain to increase production as the government projects per capita consumption of fish will rise from the current 4.5 kilogrammes to 10 in the next 10 years.

Kenya has commissioned commercialisation of aquaculture farming with a Sh14 billion loan to boost productivity amid dwindling production and a freeze on the Chinese market that used to supplement the local market.

The loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) will support farmers along the fish value chain to increase production as the government projects per capita consumption of fish will rise from the current 4.5 kilogrammes to 10 in the next 10 years.

Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya and IFAD launched the Aquaculture Business Development Programme whose first phase will cover Nyeri, Meru, Kirinyaga, Kakamega, Homa Bay and Migori counties.

“The fisheries and aquaculture has a big potential and there is already a significant gap between the current fish demand of 600,000 tonnes and the national fish production of 150,000 tonnes,” said Mr Munya.

“Kenya aspires to raise the current per capita fish consumption per year from 4.5kg per person per year to over 10kg per person by 2030. This indicates a huge consumption gap and a potential market for the Kenyan fish farmers,” he added.

Mr Munya said that apart from enhancing the production of fish in the country, the project will also help farmers to increase their income.

He said to increase the efficiency and profitability of the smallholder farmers, there must be the provision of good quality fish feed and seeds, availability of technical services and capacity building in fish processing and value-addition.

Part of the funds will be used in the provision of the services, including setting up of mini-processing plants in each of the beneficiary counties. IFAD said the project would promote agricultural development, as a key pillar of the Big Four agenda.