Written by Phanice Chepkemoi
Read 966 Times
Peter Chengeks, a fish famer of Sirikani village of Mt Elgon with some of hisfish that is sold in Kimilili town to one of his customer. Photos |Phanice Chepkemboi.
Mt. Elgon has always been identified as a region for maize farming, but history has changed now the farmers have turned into fish farming.
Though most of the people in the region don’t eat fish especially people aged 50 years and above because they never knew something like that existed because there was no fish in Mt. Elgon in those days, they thought it was a snake but the new generation has started consuming them, even practicing fish farming.
Burburiit as they call it, a Sabaot name meaning something that is not from that region was considered as a thing for Luo’s only. Even others had a myth that if you touch the fish then you go and milk a cow it will not produce milk.
Through the introduction of fish farming by the government through the ministry of fisheries, they have constructed 150 ponds within Cheptais district and according to Job Masambu, Mt. Elgon extension officer, the population is growing and they are yet to train them on other areas.
“We will train them on post-harvest and on how to cook them because most of them don’t know how to prepare them,” He says.
Peter Chengek Sitai a fish farmer from Sirikani village, Cheptais location started fish farming in 2010 after being retrenched from Telkom Kenya where he worked for 18 years.
He bought five acres of land in Cheptais and started farming tomatoes, but it didn’t do well that is why in 2010 he decided to venture into fish farming.
“I have three ponds and I have planted 800 Eucalyptus trees in my farm and I am doing well,” he narrated.
Peter Chengeks of Sirikani village at one of his fish pond in Cheptais.
Peter says that one cannot succeed in fish farming unless you commit yourself fully.
“The government has helped us so much because they provide for us fish food (floating meals), or sometimes we use kales, cooked blood mixed with flour or cassava leaves,” Peter said.
He says most of the people in the area don’t eat fish so getting a ready market for the fish is very difficult, but through the ministry of fisheries they are able to get buyers.
“I will urge other farmers who live near rivers or streams to engage into fish farming because it has a lot of profit and you don’t have to struggle too much," He said
According to Job Masambu the farmers they have trained are doing well and that they encourage them during this rainy season to harvest them so as not to be washed away by rains. “They should also rear monosex fish because it grows very fast,” Mr.Masambu said.
Switch to Our Mobile Site