September 8, 2020
Kenya to produce 100 million fingerlings to meet demand
Kenya has to increase fish production to at least 100 million fingerlings annually to meet rising demand, according to the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI).
KEMFRI data showed that fish demand has risen to 700,000 tonnes against the production of 120,000 tones. This came as the government justified its import of fish from China to help address a shortfall in supply.
"We have received complaints about imports of fish from China but we also export some of our fish products to other countries and we should thus embrace competition," KEMFRI CEO James Njiru said. He added that aquaculture farming is the only way Kenya could fulfill rising food demand.
Njiru also noted that fish caught in various lakes was on the decline as more farmers entered into aquaculture which was more productive and profitable.
"Of the total annual fish catch in the country, 90% is from fish capture in our lakes and ocean and we still have a deficit of over 500,000 tonnes." Njiru said.
Under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), Njiru said that they are working with KALRO to support aquaculture activities across the country through the provision of quality fingerlings and feeds.
The government has already set aside Ksh12 billion (US$110.7 million) towards the construction of a state of the art hatchery in Shimoni, Mombasa County, to produce quality fingerlings.
On her part, Dr. Jane Wamuongo from KALRO said that they are working with 24 counties under the Climate Smart Agriculture Project.
Of the 24, five counties including Kakamega, Busia, Siaya, Lamu and Marsabit would get support towards aquaculture farming.
"This programme is worth over Ksh41 million (US$378,268) and it's meant to produce quality fingerlings for the five identified counties so as to increase fish production and empower the farmers," she said.