Kisumu County fish farmers are set to receive a major boost in fish production after the official launch of the Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) today at Apondo village in Ahero Ward.
The ABDP is an eight year programme, to be implemented in 15 counties of which Kisumu is part, funded to a tune of 14.9 Billion by IFAD.
The programme was mooted with the aim of reducing poverty, increasing food security and nutrition in the rural communities.
With its two components of smallholder aquaculture development and value chain development, the programme targets counties with high concentrations of aquaculture activities, high production existing sectoral infrastructure, adequate water resources and marketing potential.
Kisumu has earmarked four sub counties to benefit from the programme due to their potential in fish production. These are: Nyando, Nyakach, Kisumu West and Muhoroni, targeting 1,544 farmers in the region.The programme will invest in productive infrastructure and support the small holder aquaculture farmers with inputs.
While presiding over the launch of the program, the County Executive Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Gilchrist Okuom lauded the partners saying the programme is a game changer, calling on farmers to commercialize fish farming with the available technologies for posterity.
Noting with concern the absence of the youths in the event, He called on the elderly to recruit youths in their homes into the business to ensure continuity in production throughout the seasons. Sentiments echoed by speaker after speaker during speeches.
He reiterated that plans are underway to construct a fish market in Ahero that will cost 2million to help solve the market issues affecting farmers.
Flanked by his counterpart from Siaya Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo who commended Kisumu for taking up the initiative but challenged the farmers on matters ownership and sustainability of the project even after the funding ends.
The Deputy County Commissioner Nyando, Wycliffe Ayoi on his part underscored the significance of food security . He encouraged the people to adopt public participation on developments to achieve ownership and continuity.
He called on the area Chiefs to ensure matters insecurity are dealt with since it hampers development. This being one of the challenges cited by the farmers.
The key partners present were pleased to be part of the programme and pledged technical support. They include: Lake Basin Development Authority, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, KCSAP, Farm Africa, FAO, among other county line departments.
The event dubbed Fish for Health and Wealth was marked with activities such as showcasing an array of pond technologies, a demonstration on artificial fish propagation using cat fish, tree planting exercise, skits expounding on the day’s theme and the climax was cutting of the ribbon to officially inaugurate the program.
The event was also graced by the Nyando Sub county Admin Dr. Oron, Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries Madam Rosemary Raluoch and her counterpart from Siaya, Director Fisheries Madam Susan Claire,County Program Coordinator Mr. Kenneth Luga and his Counterpart from Siaya, Dr. Kevin Obiero from K.M.F.R.I, Mr. Patrick Orwa LBDA, Mr. Kevin Kanywira from KCSAP, Farm Africa representative Mr. Felix Odingo, Madam Rose from FAO, Area Assistant Chief Mr. Vitalis Ochieng, Senior Chief Kakola Mr, Raymond Joro, Madam Rael in charge of nutrition, County Officers from the Fisheries Directorate and farmers within the locality.
By Mikwa Emily