Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) Managing Director Prof James Njiru has declared government interest in establishing a research institute in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Speaking at Uasin Gishu County headquarters, Njiru indicated as a farming champion county, it should also adapt fish farming in the coming days to help minimize intake of red meat.
“We have discussed with Governor Mandago on the need to diversify farming in this county. Its clear fish farming has a higher return in only six months’ unlike maize which takes a longer period with probably lower returns compared to fish farming,” he said.
“We have necessary training and workshops in place to train farmers in fish farming and actualize their profit in just a short period of time. As a county of champions why not champion on fish farming too?” he posed.
He noted counties like Machakos and Nyeri were amateurs in fish farming before and now they are big fish producers.
“It’s critical that we provide protein to feed our citizens. And there is no more sustainable protein that is produced than through fish farming, blue economy is the way to go,” Njiru said.
He reiterated the importance of eating white meat and reducing red meat intake to improve our health in battling some of chronic illness associated with red meat.
“Eating red meat and processed meat can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer.” He said
“Reducing intake of red meat and replacing it with more sustainable options, including Fish farming and poultry, can be good for the environment by using fewer resources and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,” he noted.
On his side, Mandago said he was delighted to actually see this opportunity formalize in helping the citizens of this county diversify to fish farming and get sustainable income in improving their lives.
“We have been yearning for this opportunity in having a research institute in our county. This will not only help us but also help neighbouring counties like, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot counties,” he said.
Mandago reiterated that the county is setting an example in having a Fish day on a weekly basis “Fish Thursday” in setting the agenda on fish farming and creating awareness for its citizens to embrace fish in their diets.
“The Fish research institute will uplift our standards in modern farming and will in return improve people’s lives,” he said.
The research institute is set to be established in 18 months’ time as per the memoranda between the County and KMFRI.
By Hassan Adan Ali