Fish farming in Nyanza and Eastern parts of Kenya just received a huge boost through a Sh100m pilot project.
Lattice Aquaculture are behind the project with funding assistance from Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
The main aim of this project is to increase profitability through a data-first ecosystem approach.
Fifty fish farmers from the two regions are to receive training on the best aquaculture practices. These efforts will allow for the farmers to enjoy the best technical and business angles of the fish farming practice.
The beauty of this project is that it connects farmers, feed manufacturers, fingerlings producers, suppliers, aquaculture institutions, buyers and Micro-finance institutions. Creating this collective digital marketplace assembles an end to end solution that benefits all parties involved.
“We realized that fish farmers in Kenya struggle to make their businesses profitable. This is due to lack of access to finance and markets, weak inputs and lack of technical skills. This program tackles all these challenges,” shared Lattice Aquaculture East Africa Regional Head Julie Muyela.
The inclusion of two financial institutions is to ensure farmers have the adequate access to credit.
The institutions, she added, have been trained on aquaculture business scenarios to allow them develop products specifically for fish farmers.
The off taker promises to buy at least 80% of the fish produced by each farmer at a competitive price.
Additionally, to increase efficiency the off taker has a mobile phone application to track farmer’s location, production, sales and prices in the targeted regions.
The information on the mobile application will be available to farmers and serve as a way to track efficiency.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Kenya has a huge aquaculture potential.
The country has over 1.14-million-hectare potential area suitable for fish farming with capacity to produce over 11 million metric tons of fish that would be collectively worth Sh750 billion.
Unfortunately, fish production is currently only at 150,000 metric tons against a demand of 900,000 metric tons. With efforts like this however, the gap is being decreased steadily.