People wanting to establish fish farms can now access information and training at the click of a button. Farm Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has launched an online training portal for fish farmers with very encouraging results.
“I have shifted from subsistence to commercial fish farming since undergoing training. I was getting meagre profits, but since KMAP came on board, I have learnt about using quality feeds and I’m certain that I will be in for a bountiful harvest and improved sales,” said Mr Evans Nyabuto, a Nyamira County farmer.
The training website was developed as part of Farm Africa’s Dutch-funded Kenya Market-led Aquaculture Programme (KMAP). It helps fish farmers, traders, fingerling producers, feed manufacturers and other stakeholders across the aquaculture value chain to develop the technical and business skills needed for successful fish farming.
The website has four training modules that offer detailed guidance on four subjects: Pond construction and stocking, fish health management, and fish harvesting and transportation to the market. It offers a multiple-choice exam in each module.
Upon the completion of all the four exams, the participants will be able to print out their certificates of completion and also have the training material at their disposal for future reference.
“By equipping key aquaculture players with skills and providing market linkages with private sector markets, KMAP ensures sustainable growth of their businesses. We have so far witnessed an increase in productivity of medium- to large-scale fish farmers, hatcheries and fish feed producers. By introducing the online training portal, Farm Africa will ensure a wider reach of our training material to farmers across the geographical divide in Kenya and beyond,” said KMAP team leader Arnoud Meijberg, the KMAP Team Leader.
Launched two years ago, KMAP has so far recruited 1,000 farmers, 400 of whom have undergone training on good aquaculture practices. Positive change has been observed with the trained farmers adopting the skills and technologies disseminated by KMAP, understanding their production costs and calculating the returns on their investment.
READ FULL STORY ON EDITION 39 OF SMARTFARMER MAGAZINE