By: Matilda Atieno
Kisumu County today hosted the commissioning and handing over of vehicles to facilitate the activities of the Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ADBP) in the NINE implementing counties.
The event was officiated by the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Mr. Lawrence Omuhaka who on behalf of the CS. Hon. Peter Munya, flagged off nine vehicles to support the program implementation in Kisumu, Siaya, Kisii, Busia, Embu, Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado and Tharakanithi Counties.
The CAS was flanked by the PS. Dr. Francis Owino and the National program coordinator, Mr. Sammy Macharia. The CEC Member for Agriculture, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom together with his counterparts from the nine implementing counties each received a vehicle on behalf of their counties.
In his speech, the CAS Stated that the program presents great opportunities to fish farmers and that the program is taking over from the economic stimulus project to nurture the farmers in the sector by doubling the production of fish in the country.
Mr. Okuom on his part stated that Kisumu is looking forward to going full blast in fish farming taking advantage of the program to generate wealth, adding that the program is an opportunity for economic empowerment.
The program is being implemented in 15 counties, where the first six vehicles were handed over to the counties under ABDP implementation namely Nyeri, Meru, Kirinyaga, Homa Bay, Kakamega and Migori Counties.
The program coordinating unit led by Mr. Sammy Macharia explained that the program is a business-based model with a business app being a fish processing plant that is taking advantage of the government-developed plants in Meru, Nyeri, Kakamega, and Migori.
The four processing plants each of 25-ton capacity per week are expected to support the neighboring counties and that the program is advocating for farmers to produce at least a ton per year with ready markets available.
The program includes support to County-level extension service provision, support to smallholder aquaculture farmers to acquire inputs and rehabilitation/construction of production units, capacity building for aquaculture value-chain players, complete the link between producers and markets for farmed fish, create structured markets and institutions in the aquaculture value chain.