Fish farmers in Tana River are embracing pond culture and value addition to boost their income.
In a pilot programme being spearheaded by Farm Africa with funding from GIZ, farmers have been taught technical skills on aquaculture.
Speaking in Tana Delta Sub-County during a market activation event where processed fish products like Fish samovars, Fish Burgers, and Fish fingers were showcased, Numias Kiti, a trainer from Farm Africa said their objective is to encourage farmers to look for alternative avenues to sell their fish.
“So far we have trained 112 farmers on technical skills and 105 farmers on business training. We had a field day whose main goal was market activation through the creation of linkages between our fish farmers and the market,” explained Numias Kiti.
She added: “The main purpose of the project is to promote the business acumen of MSMEs for sustainability and economic empowerment of the farmers.”
Arnoud Meijberg from GIZ said they are carrying out the project under the Go-Blue programme that is intervening in the aquaculture value chain along the Coast and Vocational training sector.
He disclosed that with aquaculture, farmers can make more money by knowing the size of fish to produce and how much more money they can make depending on the size and fish species they have in the ponds.
“Aquaculture opens up options. One can produce fish out of season when there is a lot of fish supply, perhaps not the best time to harvest,” asserted Meijberg.
A fisherman, Zablon Komora, used to rely on River Tana for fish but due to climate change and human activities, he says, the number of fish has decreased, due to receding water levels in the river.
“In addition to the environmental changes, humans have also encroached on the river ecosystem to carry out various activities until the water is depleted. They also dump their debris into the river,” observed Komora.
He thanked Farm Africa for the lessons terming them useful since the Tana River environment is conducive to setting up fish ponds and farmers are hopeful of getting good yields.
By Sadik Hassan