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Youth urged to venture in fingerling production

The youth in Migori County have been advised to seriously engage in fingerling production as a way of creating self-employment opportunities.

This, according to the fisheries experts, will move fast the cogs promoting fish farming and help in reducing over-fishing in Lake Victoria.

During celebrations to mark the Aquaculture Day held at Ranen village (Raneville) Farm in Awendo Sub County yesterday, Migori County Executive Committee (CEC) Member in charge of Fishery, Livestock and Agriculture, Mr Lucas Mosenda, emphasized the importance of focusing on aquaculture as a means to boost employment among the youth.

Raneville farm has been for seven years a front runner in fingerling production business within the county and generates an impressive monthly income of over Sh.100,000 revenue from the sale of fingerlings.

Apart from Raneville Farm, Migori County as a whole currently has approximately 1,300 fish farms (ponds) and three fingerling production units that experts hopes will take the region to a higher level of fish production in the near future.

Mr Mosenda who graced the event as the chief guest revealed that the Migori County Government had launched a youth educational programme on aquaculture with the intention of training some 200 young people to become experts in fingerling breeding and fish-farming.

He said the programme will incorporate the production of fingerlings as one of its core units which will help to address the rising demands in fish seeds within Migori County and beyond.

“It is our commitment to promote aquaculture in this region and, one of the areas we want to prioritise is to train our youth on how best to grow fingerlings in large quantities to be able to promote fish farming in this region as well be one of the best income earning activity for them,” explained Mosenda.

At the same time, the official underscored the need to promote fingerlings production especially in the lake region, noting that it would go a long way in controlling over-fishing in Lake Victoria as it would establish an alternative route of fish harvesting away from the lake.

“Our decision to venture into production of fingerling is strategic and it has proven to be of financial benefit to the farm,” said Mr. George Otieno, the Raneville Farm manager.

“We established this farm in 2015 to boost production of fingerlings. As at now the farm has created multiple job opportunities for the local community especially the youths who are the majority of our workers,” he remarked.

“The amount we generate here monthly is far above what we used to earn from sale of full-grown fish when this entity was started seven years ago,” explained the manager.

He said that their main focus at the moment was on the production of fingerlings which currently is solving the problem of high deficit in fish seeds within the region.

Otieno explained that the worrying huge gap in fingerlings production was forcing farms in Migori to procure the seeds from fish farms as far as Sagana in Nyeri County, leading to the high-cost of transport on their part.

Above all, there was also the risks of farmers being hit by premature deaths of the fingerlings while on transit from the far-flung farms in Nyeri, experts say.

However, the farm manager expressed high hopes that celebrating the event at their farm has trigger the beginning of a partnership between Raneville Farm and the Migori County Government.

Although there are numerous challenges facing finegerling production like the problem of kingfisher predator birds and lack of sufficient capital to run the business, the activity is good for youth.

By Ochuodho Elikana and George Agimba

 

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