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Kisii County plans to start fish farming to boost food security

Thursday January 23 2020
fish-pic

A man fishing fish in a pond. The Kisii County government has launched a fresh drive to boost food security through aquaculture, amidst diminishing land sizes. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RUTH MBULA

The Kisii County government has launched a fresh drive to boost food security through aquaculture, amidst diminishing land sizes.

Lack of adequate land has hampered meaningful agriculture in the region.

The county government is among 15 counties selected to benefit from the Sh14.9 billion sponsorship from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the project.

The sponsorship, through the Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP) is aimed at promoting fish farming in the country.

AQUACULTURE

Governor James Ongwae said aquaculture is one of the alternative activities the county is to explore and the ABDP programme has come in handy.

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“There are around 2,100 active fish farmers in the county, hence the need to carry out extension services to sensitise more farmers to venture into aquaculture,” the governor said.

He said the county government is facilitating fish feed formulation and fingerlings subsidy to support farmers.

Most of the fish consumed in Kisii is sourced from Lake Victoria in Migori and Homa Bay counties.

But due to the high demand for fish, it is barely enough and the county is now working hard to boost fish farming in ponds.

Kisii is characterised by shrinking land sizes and excessive fragmentation has made it difficult for any meaningful agricultural production and the little available land is mostly being used for settlement.

POPULATION

Population explosion in the region is another challenge.

An aerial view of Kisii shows slum-like villages, different from what is seen in neighbouring counties of Narok, Migori, Bomet and Homa Bay.

“With the diminishing land size in our county, agricultural activities are becoming limited and food production is continuously decreasing, hence the need to seek alternative food sources,” said Mr Ongwae in an interview.

Records from the Kisii County government on land use indicate that farm holding size in the region is typically small, ranging from 0.5 acres to 4.5 acres of land.

“The small size holdings are as a result of high population pressure on land which results in subdivisions and fragmentation of holdings. The land holdings in the county are estimated at over 135,000 which consist of households who engage in mixed farming,” the county government says on its official website.

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