President William Ruto in Kaunda suit and a host of other government leader during the inauguration of Kabonyo Fiseries Aquaculture Service and Training Centre of Excellence in Kabonyo, Kisumu County

Fish farming set  to get a boost with the planned production of 10 million fingerlings annually by Kisumu’s aquaculture centre

By Zablon Oyugi

The newly inaugurated Kabonyo Fisheries Aquaculture Service and Training Centre of Excellence in Kabonyo, Kisumu County is set to produce up to 10 million fingerlings annually, enhancing fish farming in the lake region and reinforcing food security and nutrition.

The surge in cage fish farming by Kenyan farmers in Lake Victoria has led to an escalating demand for fingerlings in the region.

Recent data from the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) reveals that there are now more than 6,000 fish cages on the Kenyan section of Lake Victoria, with each cage capable of yielding one tonne of fish annually.

KMFRI reports that the current aquaculture capacity in the lake is 60,000 tonnes of fish each year, in contrast to the annual wild fish production of 100,000 tonnes. Consequently, the government is intensifying its investments in aquaculture within the Nyanza Region, aiming to provide farmers with high-quality fish seed to boost production.

During his recent four-day development tour of the region, President William Ruto emphasised that the project would not only create more employment opportunities but also elevate food production and trade, thereby enhancing the nation’s economy. President Ruto noted,

“Fishery is an integral pillar in the country’s food production, and in addition, the Government is constructing eight Fish Landing sites to further promote aquaculture in the area. We will ensure the landing sites have cold storage, processing, and beach management units to maximize profits.”

The Kabonyo Fisheries Aquaculture Service and Training Centre of Excellence will play a crucial role in training, research, innovation, and promoting best practices in Fisheries and Aquaculture through practical demonstrations and incubations. The center will also engage in the adoption, domestication, and selective breeding of Nile Perch, Common Carp, Milk Fish, Tilapia, and Catfish to bolster the availability of these fish species for both small and large-scale fish farmers.

Additionally, the center will contribute to the production of raw materials for animal feeds and fertiliser, reducing the excessive strain on Lake Victoria and allowing the lake’s fish production to rejuvenate.

Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o, the Kisumu County Governor, envisions that the center will expand its reach to serve the East and Central Africa region. It will also collaborate with regional organisations, further positioning Kisumu as a regional hub for aquaculture.

Prof. Nyong’o commented, “Some of the beneficiaries of this project will include the immediate Kabonyo Kanyagwal Community, beach management units, smallholders, medium-scale producers, research organizations, fisheries and aquaculture services, learning institutions, local administrations, fish traders, and processors, among other value chain actors.”

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