Fish farming is on the decline in Kirinyaga County due to lack of quality fish feeds and the exorbitant cost of the same.
Last year, despite many of the incentives given to small scale fish farmers, they only managed to make Sh. 6.5 million of the Sh50 million targeted at the beginning of the period.
Many of the farmers interviewed by KNA blamed the decline on failure to acess fish feeds, which they said were also too expensive when eventually found.
Subsequently, they have resulted to feeding their fish with sweet potatoes fibers, which retarded growth of the fish, resulting to low weight and small size fish.
The county governor Anne Waiguru has since come up with arrangements, where the department of agriculture will make quality feeds at Kiaga.
During a tour of the facility recently, Waiguru said some of challenges faced by farmers will now be addressed as a way of contributing towards improving fish production in the region.
“The centre will also be used in the production of other livestock feeds like for the dairy cows and goats for local farmers,” said the governor, adding that this will improve production, besides getting rid of unscrupulous traders who are taking advantaging of ignorant farmers and selling to the poor quality feeds.
At the same time, Waiguru urged the residents to take advantage of many of the rivers crisscrossing the county to engage in fish production, which she said had ready markets in and outside the county.
Fish farming, she said, was a viable venture since it requires a small size of land compared to other types of farming.
“Already the Jubilee government has set up an international fish research center at the Sagana aquaculture where training and research on fish will be taking place,” said Waiguru.
“Take advantage of the center and learn the best practices in fish production,” she urged.
By Irungu Mwangi