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State gives Sh3 million fingerlings to Kisumu fish farmers

Fish farmers in Kisumu have received improved fingerlings breeds and fish feeds valued at Sh3 million to boost their fisheries production.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said the government had donated fingerlings and fish feeds costing Sh2 million and Sh1 million respectively to support the cage fish industry after majority of fish farmers along the shores of Lake Victoria incurred losses last year due to the effects of global warming at the water body.

Speaking during the distribution of fingerlings at Ogal Beach, Kisumu West, Prof Nyong’o stressed that his administration has prioritized interventions towards the promotion of cage fish farming and land-based aquaculture in the area.

“The county government is today giving out fingerlings and fish feeds to some 94 cage fish farmers who were worst hit by the calamity to help them re-stock and assist them to recover,” stated Prof. Nyong’o.

The fisher folks in all the 8 landing beaches in Kisumu County reportedly recorded losses estimated at over Sh.884 million with Ogal Beach having the highest number of affected farmers.

The Governor assured that the support would be scaled out to the other remaining beaches that were equally affected.

“My government wishes to assure the fisher folks at Ogal and the entire county that we will stand with you at all times.  We are working on policies that will improve fish farming, especially aquaculture and Blue Economy in general,” he pledged.

Apart from the fingerlings’ distribution, the County in partnership with the national government has also promoted the construction and rehabilitation of fish ponds and enhanced capacity building in modern aquaculture as a measure to revitalize the sub-sector.

The County boss further stated that the formation of Kisumu Beach Management Unit (BMU) SACCO will be a game-changer for the sector.

He challenged the fisher folk community to form and join a cooperative society to enhance their credit rating to get capital from financial institutions.

In addition, Prof. Nyong’o urged the cage farmers to insure their businesses against potential risks to enable them to receive compensation in case similar calamities strike in the future.

The Ogal Beach BMU chairperson Mr Moses Owino thanked the governments for the initiative to support smallholder fish farmers to restore their businesses.

At the same time, Owino pleaded with the authorities to address prevailing challenges on the fish production front.

“The biggest challenges facing the local aquaculture industry include, the high cost of fishmeal which we urge the government to offer subsidies, lack of a cold storage facility to keep surplus fish and poor road networks leading to the beaches,” he posed.

By Robert Ojwang’

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