In a bid to encourage fish consumption in schools among children, Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) has assisted in harvesting over 500 pieces of tilapia fish at Kiriko girls’ secondary school in Gatundu North sub-county.
The school is one of the beneficiaries of the ABDP programme in Kiambu County and had been issued with liners and vast extension services on digging a fish pond, identifying the best fingerlings in the market and how to feed them, pond management and hygiene.
ABDP, a programme jointly funded by GoK 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.
According to Kiambu County fisheries development Officer Raphael Kasiu, the programme hopes to encourage fish consumption in schools among children as well as for other learning purposes with a broader objective of increasing incomes, food security and nutritional status of the wider communities.
“This is the first school to benefit from the project and due to its success, we intend to introduce the programme to more schools in the county as this will go a long way in ensuring food security in our schools,” said Kasiu.
The officer added that introducing the programme in schools would encourage fish eating culture in the community since the children would be educated on dietary diversity and value addition of fish at a younger age.
“This programme aims at increasing availability, access and consumption of nutrient-rich fish among women, youth and young children,” he said.
On her part Mrs. Judy Macharia the principal Kiriko girls’ secondary school lauded the program saying it has helped enhance the students’ knowledge in aquaculture
“We have students from different regions of the country and this programme has help expose students from areas that fish is not popular to the health benefits of fish consumption especially in women and children,” she said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the current annual fish production in Kenya is 400,000 tons, while the annual demand is 600,000 tons, while the fish consumption level is only 4 kg per capita, per year which is far below the global average of 20 kg.
By Grace Naishoo