By Denshi Shisia
Youth County Projects Kenya Coordinator of Kakamega County
With the Advent of Fish Farming in Kakamega County, The World Bank through the Western Kenya Community Driven Development Flood Mitigation Program (WKCDD/FMP) invested Ksh. 5.5 Million in a Fish Hatchery within the County to enable farmers easily access knowledge and skills in fish farming, fingerlings and fish feeds.
In 2011, the government earmarked Ksh. 70 million for setting up a small fish processing plant in Kakamega County. Fish farming in the area had improved with over 2, 000 fish ponds having been established in the County by individual farmers in addition to the 2,700 that were dug by the government under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
The Project whose construction was started in November 2015 will see the communities within the County, especially those from Khwisero Constituency in which it is situated benefit immensely on the services that will be offered.
Youths from the County can now venture into fish farming – an opportunity that does not require huge amounts of capital to start. These can be approached individually or in a group to cut on costs. According to research, Khwisero Constituency soil and water is ideal for Tilapia rearing and therefore, the Khwisero Sub-County Fisheries Officer urged the residents to consider rearing Tilapia in their ponds.
To venture into fish farming under this program, one needs at least Ksh. 25,000 that is needed to dig one pond measuring 10M2. However, this cost can be considerably reduced if the youths from within the region formed groups in which they can use to help each other dig the ponds on rotational basis.
When the Fish Hatchery becomes functional, it is projected to serve all fish farmers within Kakamega County and stretch to neighboring counties.
With a hatchery and a processing plant within the County, Kakamega County Youths now have a good opportunity to venture into fish farming and reduce their overdependence on maize farming – an agricultural process that has seen the soil within the county become depleted on important minerals.