The National government is set to partner with devolved units to boost fish farming in the counties.
Livestock and Fisheries Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Linah Kilimo has said that the department is targeting to supply 100,000 fish fingerings in every county.
Speaking at King’uka area in Laikipia County when she restocked King’uka dam with10, 000 fish fingerlings, the CAS said that the government is targeting to restock all public dams with fish fingerlings in a move aimed at boosting food security, as well as creating income generating activity among locals.
“As a Ministry we are geared towards helping President Uhuru Kenyatta achieve his Big 4 Agenda, especially in food security. Fish farming is one of many areas that the government is investing to make sure people have enough food and especially in arid and semi-arid areas,” noted the CAS.
She observed that dams in the Arid and semi –arid county can support fishing farming, thus ensuring residents get alternative sources of income.
“The warm weather in this area is favorable and we know the fish will do well if the fingerlings are well maintained. We expect the fish to mature in eight months,” said the CAS at King’uka.
She noted that the demand for fish in the country was insatiable and there is a deficit in the market.
“Supplying the fingerlings will lead to high production of fish to cater for its big demand in the country. Residents will now be able to take advantage of the high demand for fish and make extra returns while still getting a good balanced diet,” she added.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi who accompanied the CAS noted that his administration was committed in ensuring that fish farming thrived in all parts of the county.
He said that they had last year restocked about 16 dams with 10 more dams earmarked for this year.
“Apart from desilting dams to provide water for irrigation to our farmers, we will now serve another purpose of rearing fish which will be a boost to the economy of the county and put a shilling to the pocket of the common mwananchi,” said the county boss.
He said that fish farming in the area will not only provide residents with much needed protein but also create employment to hundreds of locals.
“As a county, we are going to offer technical assistance to farmers on fish keeping to ensure the project is successful,” said the county boss while calling for controlled fishing to ensure that there is proper breeding.
Residents lauded the programme saying they will embrace fish farming with the aim of increasing returns.
Wilson Karanja, a local resident said the dam will assist them to produce fish for commercial purposes noting it will also act as an alternative source of protein.
by Jesse Mwitwa