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Aquaculture Programme donates assorted utilities to farmers

Fish farmers in Kiambu County have received fishing equipment and motorbikes worth Sh47.1 million.

The equipment, including pond liners, predator/bird nets, motorbikes, laptops, and a double cab vehicle were issued to the first batch of beneficiaries in six sub counties.

These will benefit over 2000 fish farmers and support aquaculture extension services through the Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP).

The ABDP which is a programme jointly funded by the National Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) targets to improve production, processing, and marketing as well as change the fish-eating culture through the provision of aquaculture input materials.

Kiambu County is one of the 15 selected counties in the country that will benefit from this ABDP programme.

In Kiambu, the programme will be rolled out in six sub counties namely Kikuyu, Lari, Limuru, Gatundu North, Gatundu South and Thika, where 16 wards have been mapped out based on specific selection criteria that considers water resources, poverty index and current state of aquaculture as parameters.

Kiambu Governor, Dr James Nyoro, who spoke during the event that took place at the County’s Headquarters said he would continue working with the National Government to help fish farmers earn a living and contribute to the county food basket.

Nyoro said fish production is the third beneficiary in funding after milk and coffee production. “Fish farming in the county complements other agricultural ventures like crop production and livestock productions,” he said.

Agriculture CEC, Joseph Kamau, thanked the National Government in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development for supporting the aquaculture value chain through the Agriculture Business Development Programme.

“The 16 wards in the six sub counties of Kiambu were selected based on IFAD criteria that considered key parameters like water resources, current state of aquaculture and poverty index,” Kamau said.

The executive said that Kiambu is producing 75 per cent tilapia and 25 per cent catfish.

Speaking to KNA, James Mbugua, a fish farmer in Gatundu North, lauded the ABDP programme for the trainings and donations they have been offering the farmers over the years saying they have helped farmers excel in fish farming.

“The donations and training on production, processing and marketing of fish have really enhanced our resilience in fish farming. We no longer rely on farm produce only for our income but also on fish farming,” said Mbugua.

“The donations today will go a long way in expanding our ponds and the motorbikes will help us get the fish to the market on time since fish is a highly perishable food,” added Mbugua.

Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) is paramount in ensuring an overall economic transformation of the fish farmers in the country as well as fasttrack the realization of Vision 2030.

By Grace Naishoo

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