The Homa Bay County government in partnership with International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is planning to spend Sh.15 billion in fish production, marketing and value addition in the region.
The programme is to run for eight years and targets youth and women in the 40 wards of the County during its first phase of the countrywide programme that will also be rolled out in six other counties.
The County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Aguko Juma called on the community to embrace the programme saying they have the lake but the fishermen were not benefiting from it as they sold the fish at a throw away price.
Aguko added that they have plans to help the fishermen improve their livelihood by streamlining marketing that would enable them manage the fish prices and also identify areas where the fish trade was viable.
The CECM said this on Tuesday while opening Homa Bay County Sensitization Workshop at a hotel where he said that they were targeting production through cage fishing and fish ponds as the demand for fish within and outside the country is high while the fish production is low.
Aguko added that they were organizing sensitization that is to start from the ward level so that they start digging ponds.
He noted that there were existing ponds that were dug by the County Government for the residents and were planning to use part of the funds to de-silt these ponds.
The Executive Member wanted all the Beach Management Unit leaders to send their bank accounts to his office, saying that out of the 137 beaches only 14 had submitted but all the submitted details were wrong.
“There is a lot of corruption in the beaches and units who will fail to submit their bank account details are going to be dissolved and the units handed over to leaders who can handle issues in accordance to the Fisheries Act,” said Aguko.
He further said that they were not planning to purely engage in fish caging but instead work with a few individuals experienced in fish production.
Aguko called on the community to change their perception about cage fishing and embrace the project.
Other leaders who graced the occasion were the Homa Bay County Chief Officer in Livestock and Fisheries, Ben Onyango and the Aquaculture Business Development Programme Coordinator, Sammy Macaria.
By Anjeline Adisa/Davis Langat