Nyeri County Government has launched a fish farming programme where over 167,000 fingerlings will be distributed to about 200 farmers in the area at a cost of Sh 2.8 million.
The programme that is aimed at encouraging farmers to adopt fish farming as an economic activity as well as promote food and nutrition security will see each farmer get 1,000 mono-sex tilapia fingerlings to restock their ponds.
The beneficiaries are expected to start reaping the benefits after eight months when the fingerlings will have matured even as the devolved unit embarks on a process of operationalising Wamagana Fish Factory for processing, storage and marketing.
Governor, Mutahi Kahiga, speaking when launching the restocking drive within Kamakwa area in Nyeri Central Sub-county, said the programme was also geared towards changing the mindset of residents with regard to fish consumption and farming owing to its innumerable health and economic benefits.
Fish is considered an ‘alien’ food in the County and its uptake as a viable economic activity has been low since introduction in 2010 under the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP).
Governor Kahiga called on locals, majority of who are farmers to take up fish farming which he said was less labour intensive compared to other ventures like tea and coffee farming, the main economic farming activities in the county.
He said his administration had in the last four years spent over Sh50 million in rehabilitating over 255 fish ponds, restocking, purchasing dam liners and feeds to encourage farmers to venture into aqua farming.
County Executive Member (CEC) in charge of Agriculture, James Wachihi, asked farmers not only to focus on sales but also incorporate fish in their diet as it was packed with rich minerals for good health.
By Samuel Waititu