A private aquaculture farm dubbed Victory Farms donated 150,000 fingerlings to fish farmers in Homa Bay.
According to the farm’s Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) Ceaser Asio, the fingerlings were to benefit 100 fish farmers in the region.
Speaking at the fisheries office in Homa Bay town during the official handing over of the aquaculture input to the beneficiaries, the CPO said the initiative was a way of giving back to the community by the farm.
“We embarked on this project as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility. It is also a way of encouraging more entrepreneurs and wild-catch fishermen to join in fish farming,” explained Asio.
He however noted that despite contributions from the farm through cage fishing, the country is still experiencing a deficit of over 300,000 tonnes of fish which he noted to be both a challenge as well as an opportunity for fish farmers in the region to get a ready market for their produce.
The CPO further said the organization would keep working hand in hand with the community and the national government to boost the sector through pond fish farming.
“We are deeply encouraged by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s special focus on the blue economy and also by what can be achieved if all the sectors work together,” added Asio.
The Director of Administration State Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and the blue economy Titus Kilonzi who spoke to the farmers on behalf of the Department’s Principal Secretary Dr. Francis Owino, applauded the farm on their contribution towards the sector adding that the donations would go a long way towards revamping the fish sector and attaining one of the big four agendas.
The director explained that the government was looking to work with various private investors in the region to improve fish production in the country.
It was also revealed that Victory Farms had also donated a total of 550,000 fingerlings to other lake region counties of Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Busia.
On his part the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Fisheries, Agriculture and Livestock Aguko Juma who graced the occasion expressed his gratitude to the farm.
The CECM implored fish farmers in the region to take great care of the fingerlings to increase the total number of fish harvested from their ponds.
Elsewhere, the same entourage also visited Global Tilapia Husbandry Kenya Limited based in Nyamanga within Suba North Sub County to assess the growth of the industry as part of the major contributors towards the aquaculture sector in the county since its inception two years ago.
One of the organization’s manager Tom Obilo explained that the husbandry is working in collaboration with the community and the local administration in various projects such as installations of clean water supply system as well as provision of bursaries for needy students in the area.
The visit revealed that the husbandry management plans to construct fingerlings incubator within the site as well as local fish feeds production unit to be based in Nairobi as a way of boosting the sector.
By Omar Zabbibah and Sitna Omar