The Nakuru County government has commissioned construction of sh239 million Naivasha smart fish market that is set to revolutionize fish trading business in the region.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the modern multi-purpose market to be constructed in Karai area in Naivasha along the busy Nairobi –Nakuru highway has been realized through a partnership with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and The Rockefeller Foundation through its Food Initiative Programme in the country.
Kinyanjui said the market once operationalized will be a game changer in the fish industry business and will be a major economic driver to the county’s growth potential and that of the entire region.
Kinyanjui said the smart market which has been designed by students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will be Covid -19 compliant in terms of spacing, sanitation and hygiene taken into account.
The governor said the first phase which will be complete by December this year at a cost of Sh 80 million will accommodate 100 traders with the number of traders set to increase to 300 when the market will be fully operationalized by next year.
“This market will revolutionize the fish trading business as it will act as a one stop shop for all of customers’ needs,” said Kinyanjui.
He said the fish market will provide hundreds of job opportunities to the youths involved in the fish as there will be a ready market, create a more conducive environment for fish trading business and eliminate the dangers posed to traders while selling by the roadsides.
The governor also said the market will be solar powered and will offer smart solutions services including systems digitization, E- waste management, E-mobility solutions and products such as electric motorcycles and charging ports.
Consequently, he said that the solar energy will power the cold storage facilities which will help preserve the fish and other produce at the market to reduce wastage. Additionally, he said the cold rooms will also help manage diseases that usually emanate from poor storage of fish and other produce.
Kinyanjui was happy to note that the market once operationalized will encourage value addition to the fish through modern packaging and by producing fish fillets which will attract higher prices.
Speaking at the event, Gerald Masila, the Executive Director at the Eastern Africa Grain Council said that they are committed to closely working with county governments to improve and modernize food storage and processing facilities so as to create a more enabling environment to attract investments.
By Erastus Gichohi and Esther Mwangi