The National Government through the State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue economy has supported fish farmers in Homa Bay County with materials worth Sh 50 million.
The materials that included fishing nets, pond liners, laptops and six motorbikes were issued to agricultural extension officers in six Sub-counties.
The materials will benefit over 400 fish farmers and support aquaculture extension services through the Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP).
The launch of the distribution in Homa-Bay town was officiated by Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Lawrence Omuhaka.
He said that the ABDP programme had been launched in 15 counties across the Country, including Migori, Siaya, Kisii, Nyeri, Embu, Machakos, Homa Bay, Kiambu among others.
“This programme will ensure an overall economic transformation of the fish farmers in the country as well as fast track the realization of vision 2030,” said Omuhaka.
The CAS encouraged farmers to invest in fish feeds which will enable an increase in the quantity and quality of fish produced, adding that the demand for fish is expected to increase to over 360,000 metric tons by the year 2025 and that fish farmers needed to take advantage of the same.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the blue economy, Dr. Francis Owino, explained that the programme was part of the Big Four Agenda by the government to ensure food and nutrition security.
“The Government support will go a long way in ensuring small-scale farmers in the country have money in their pockets and we hope six months from today, the quantity of fish harvested by farmers within the County will improve,” said Owino.
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Aguko Juma, called on the farmers to take advantage of the programme to boost fish production and ease the pressure on Lake Victoria for fish supply.
He urged the security agencies to provide adequate protection for the farmer’s fish ponds to curb theft.
Aguko told the beneficiaries to ensure that the materials were used prudently and for the intended purposes.
By Omar Zabbibah and Davis Langat