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Gov’t program distributes 275,000 fingerlings to Kiambu farmers

Fish farmers in Kiambu County have received a major boost following the distribution of 275,000 fingerlings and 59,500 kilos of fish feeds courtesy of Aquaculture Business Development Program (ABDP).

The fingerlings and fish feeds were given out to 275 fish farmers with each of them receiving 1,000 fingerlings and about 200 kgs of fish feeds.

The farmers who benefited from the donation are from seven sub counties in Kiambu where the government funded program is being implemented namely: Limuru, Lari, Kikuyu, Gatundu North, Gatundu South and Thika sub county.

The objective of the program which is being implemented in 15 Counties across the country is to increase income, food security and nutritional status of the wider communities of poor rural households involved in aquaculture in the targeted Counties.

Kiambu County Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation through Directorate of Fisheries who presided over the distribution of the donation also came up with other key interventions including provision of pond liners and predator kits, training of fish farmers, social behavior and culture change fish fair events, dam-stocking among others.

According to Kiambu County fisheries Development Officer Mr. Raphael Kasiu, this is an opportunity to encourage more farmers to do fish farming as an alternative source of income since crop production has declined due to inadequate rainfall caused by climate change in the recent years.

“Fish farming is a highly profitable and time-efficient venture that is suitable for those with small parcels of land,” said Kasiu.

He said that the county government has and will continue to popularize fish consumption and create awareness of its importance as a source of protein through their program dubbed ‘eat More Fish Campaign’.

“We will be organizing fish eating festivals and training farmers on how to grow crops such as bananas and vegetables around the fishponds for domestic use or sale,” said Kasiu.

One of the beneficiaries, 51-year-old Thomas Waihenya from Lari told KNA that venturing into Fish farming was the best decision he ever made

According to Waihenya, for some time he was looking for another source of livelihood apart from Coffee farming that was marred by challenges of lack of payments.

“In 2018, I constructed a fish pond and was given fingerlings by county government. Through the Aquaculture programme, everything has been going on well and I am optimistic for even better returns this year,” he added.

Reports by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), KNBS and the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) have warned that due to Kenya’s failing agriculture due to the failure of rains for five consecutive planting seasons, households in 24 of the 47 counties, with an estimated 18.8 million people, will be facing food emergency, food crisis or stressed food insecurity between February and May 2023.

By Grace Naishoo

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