Devolution Cabinet Secretary (CS), Eugene Wamalwa, has urged Kakamega residents to embrace diversification into unexploited enterprises, including aquaculture for better returns.
Wamalwa encouraged the farmers to take advantage of a fish processing plant at Lutonyi farm in Kakamega town to upscale fish production and utilize it optimally.
He said Kakamega County has great potential in aquaculture which is yet to be fully exploited for the benefit of the residents.
The CS was speaking in Kakamega during the commissioning of Lutonye fish processing plant.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the plant has a capacity to process 30 metric tonnes of fish per day and it would provide a ready market for farmers in the 14-member Lake Region Economic Block (LREB).
The Governor stated that his Administration has already constructed a perimeter wall around the factory and tarmacked the road from Kakamega-Webuye highway at Bukhungu stadium to provide easy access to the plant.
Oparanya said the National Government initially pumped Sh60 million into the construction of the facility during the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in the year 2009-2012, adding that as a County they have constructed fish feed warehouse at a cost of Sh20 million.
Meanwhile, the County boasts of 6,976 fish farmers with 9,988 fish ponds and has a potential to produce a total of 1,798 metric tonnes of fish in a seven-month production cycle.
“We appreciate the DAS Group Kenya Limited for investing over Sh40 million to upgrade the facility to meet all the requirements that qualified it to export fish to the much-coveted European Union (EU) market,” the Governor observed.
The Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Caroline Vicini, assured the farmers of a ready export market in the European Union (EU).
She said aquaculture would provide a viable economic frontier for the residents who mainly rely on sugarcane and maize for commercial and subsistence purposes.
By Sammy Mwibanda