The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and the county government of Kisii have agreed to work together in exploring the potential of aquaculture in the region.
Speaking during an engagement meeting with Kisii county officials in Kisii town, KMFRI Board Chairman, John Mumba said the county has a huge potential in fish farming considering the large number of fish farmers who have done aquaculture-related training in the area.
Mr. Mumba noted that KMFRI Kegati centre in the county is continuously conducting research on the best fish to breed in Kisii as well as training farmers on fish farming techniques for enhanced economic benefits.
Currently, the county has 2,090 fish farmers drawn from women and youth groups as well as institutions with operational 2,214 fish ponds.
The Chairman pointed out that Kisii has favourable weather conditions for aqua cultural development and encouraged farmers to invest heavily in line with growing the county’s food security.
Kisii County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, Dr. Margret Obaga said the county is committed to working with KMFRI in promoting aquaculture activities to boost income for residents.
Dr. Obaga noted they have already procured aqua feeds from the Kegati centre as part of the county’s effort to provide inputs to fish farmers in order to enhance aquaculture production.
In addition, the CEC pointed out they are exploring the adoption of cheaper alternatives for recirculating the aquaculture systems to realize intensification in the region since land sizes are diminishing and resulting in smallholder parcels.
Dr. Obaga said climate-smart aquaculture technology will enable fish farmers to mitigate the shocks of climate change like flash floods that affect earthen ponds close to major rivers and other water sources.
“We are looking into new value-added fish and fishery products to enable actors in processing and marketing nodes of the value chain to maximize returns,” she said.
By Mercy Osongo