CEC Member for Agriculture livestock and fisheries Gilchrist Okuom addressing participants during the sensitization session of Members of the County Assembly Agriculture Committee on Aquaculture Business Development Program (ABDP) at the Sunset Hotel (Picture by David Wadulo)
By Emily Mikwa
The County Directorate of Fisheries yesterday carried out a sensitization session on Aquaculture Business Development Program (ABDP) to the Members of the County Assembly sitting in the Agriculture Committee at the Sunset Hotel, in Kisumu
The sensitization, which was facilitated by the County Fisheries experts, was done with the support of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the state Department for Fisheries, aquaculture and Blue Economy.
While officially opening the session, the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom highlighted that the ABDP is an 8years program funded by IFAD and it is being undertaken within 15 counties nationwide, Kisumu being one of them.
He further reiterated that the department targeted to sensitize the County Assembly Agriculture committee members on the existence of the program which will be undertaken in various wards within the County to create awareness and to make the rest of the members of the Assembly understand the program.
The ABDP program costing a total of USD 143.3 million (KES 14.9 billion), focuses on reducing poverty and increasing food security and nutrition in rural communities with the intention of increasing the incomes, food security and improving nutritional status of the communities of poor rural households involved in aquaculture among the targeted Counties.
It further aims at using both public and private sector channels to strengthen the aquaculture value chains with whole-community initiatives to promote good nutrition and food security, environmental sustainability and adaptation to climate change.
The program has two components; first is the smallholder aquaculture development which aims to raise the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of ongoing and new aquaculture activities in mixed smallholder farming systems, with associated nutrition activities to improve diet quality and
Secondly the component of aquaculture value chain development which seeks to improve the efficiency of the whole aquaculture value chain, with a concentration of Program effort and resources on operations that either include smallholders directly or demonstrably benefit the mass of small-scale producers.
The ABDP is envisaged as national in scope but targeting counties with high concentrations of aquaculture activity, high production, existing sectoral infrastructure (processing, marketing and research), adequate water resources and marketing potential.
The first start up counties were: Central Kenya Region: Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Meru and Western Kenya Region: Kakamega, Homa Bay, Migori while the second start up counties include
Central Kenya Region: Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado.
Western Kenya Region: Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Kisii
Implementation of the Program in the Counties will be done in compliance with devolution law as spelled out in the Kenya Constitution 2010.
The implementation at County level will be done in full compliance with the Program objectives, implementation arrangements and fiduciary requirements as will be guided by the Program Implementation Manual (PIM).