Hatchery helps diversify food production in Kenya
October 23, 2015 By Craig Springer
Uasin Gishu, an area identified as the bread basket of Kenya, has plans to become a model source of certified fingerlings, according to recent news reports. The hatchery under construction is a partnership between the county government and the University of Eldoret.
Construction should be completed within the next seven months, paving the way for the county to become a leading producer of various kinds of fish within the North Rift region. Uasin Gishu is known for its maize, wheat, dairy and horticultural production. Diversification into other food will “enhance sufficiency, generate income and create employment.”
The county government has invested 10 million Kenyan shillings ($94,700 USD) for setting up the first phase of the hatchery, and the university has provided the site at its main campus in Eldoret.
The Uasin Gishu County Fisheries officer is quoted as saying an estimated 5,120 tonnes of fish are currently produced in the area each year, generating an average revenue 2.05 billion shillings ($19 million USD). More than 2,000 farmers are involved and the hatchery will now give them ready access to suitably certified fingerlings at subsidised prices, which will help grow the industry.
Prof. Teresa Akenga, the university’s vice-chancellor, has been reported as saying that the hatchery design has been set to international standards and will contribute towards the country’s food security by ensuring a steady supply of fish.
The university has skilled manpower in the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences who will manage the hatchery, she’s recorded as adding.
Prof Phillip Raburu, the head of Fisheries and Aquatic Science Department, said the hatchery will be used to produce two species for which there is high demand in the region – catfish and tilapia.
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