By Lorraine Anyango
Solar powered fish hatcheries (Mono sexed fingerlinks), solar powered fish driers, smoking kilns and energy saving stoves are some of the interventions instore for the aquaculture folks courtesy of the County Government of Kisumu.
The County Government of Kisumu is also working on interventions on adoption and constructions of modern ‘Mkiwi’ -wood engine fishing boats and use of woven baskets with in built coolers for fish, quality and appropriate handling storage, and use of specialized fabricated motor bikes with in built cooler carrier for fish transportation.
These interventions are being carried out using some 14 million shillings set aside under the department of Agriculture, Irrigation, livestock and Fisheries.
The department through its Agricultural Development Support Programme (ASDSP) will also ensure that facilitation and adoption of modern processing structures/slubs such as required in filleting.
“We are looking at reforming the entire fish value chain with an aim of propelling commercialization of aquaculture within Kisumu county.” Mr Isaac Dawo ASDSP project’s coordinator said.
The interventions are to support the opalization of innovative ideas, technological packages and support enterprises while the emphasis of these interventions is on youths and women.
“Our intention is to help them find entry points for participation in male dominated value chins for enhanced visibility and economic benefits.” Mr Dawo adds.
The program also looks at strengthening value chain segments with high prospects for women and youth empowerment.
These interventions are also geared to encourage youths and women to take advantage of the unexploited opportunities that still lay within the aquaculture sector.
Some of those investment opportunities that have the probability of high returns includes, fish feeds production, integrated information manage system that connects the entire fish value chain, cage culture as there is still a deficit in fish production in Kisumu.
Others include fabrication of cages, aqua-preneurship consultancies, aqua clinic fish vets, value addition to have products such as fish sausages etc.
Under this project Kisumu county targets to increase fish market volumes which is currently estimated to be 11 tons to 12 tons by the end of 2022, this will not only impact on income but also food security in the region.
Kisumu’s Deputy Governor , Dr Mathew Owili visiting exhibitions stands at the Youth aquaculture conference to understand what innovations the youths in Kisumu are come up with . Photo by Jackton Omondi
Under this projected, training of an estimated 3562 is ongoing, the beneficiaries will be equipped with business skills and market penetration skills.
Among these are 229 youths, 148 fish feeds processors whose capacity will be built to meet the annual demand of 540 tons annually.
This project also seeks to support mechanism for policies formulation along the fish food chain to better it.
Apart from the interventions by ASDSP, Kisumu county partnered with GIZ in a project which is currently looking for youths to support in fish pond farming, distribution of fish, value additions.
The project specifically targets youths from Nyando, Muhoroni, Kisumu west and Nyakach sub counties where youths will be trained and supported to put up fish ponds.
“We are experiencing diminishing numbers in Agri business disciplines, we have too many self-proclaimed untrained aquaculture experts, it’s time for authentic trained youths to fill up this place.” Dr Erick Ogolla from Maseno university says.