Kwale, KENYA: The national government has said that it has set up strategies for starting a project to boost aquaculture at the Kenyan coast.
Aquaculture refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said the project is mainly targeting to do training and creating awareness of caged fish production.
Speaking in Shimoni in Lungalunga Sub-County Kwale County during the marking of international fisheries day, Bett said the government has set aside 16 billion through a partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
“Part of the money will be used to create awareness which will help increase the rate at which people in the country consume fish,” he said.
He called on coastal people to also turn to fish ponds as much as they do sea fishing, as they are also looking forward to creating and sustaining internal fish market before expanding to the export market.
He said confined fishing can easily reduce the cost of production and the only method that can make the fish market competitive hence the need to improve aquaculture.
“Let us start ponds at our homes so that we can improve fish production, the funds that are coming will train you on the best technology to do fish ponds,” he said.
Principal Secretary State Department of Fisheries Prof. Micheni Ntiba asked County governments to domesticate the Fisheries Management and Conservation Act 2016 to their respective needs.
On her part, Kwale County CEC in charge of Agriculture, livestock and fisheries Joanne Nyamayso said that sea fishing in the County has not exhausted sea fishing potential due to lack of sophisticated fishing equipment to enable fishermen to reach deep seas.
“We are looking forward to having the modern fishing technology to enable fishermen to reach deep seas to increase their catch,” she said.
She said the County government has started acquiring motorized boats that can carry up to 30 fishermen and fish up to 4 tones. The boats, she said, will be distributed to each beach management unit (BMU).