Farmers in the major sugarcane producing Matete area in Kakamega County have been advised to embrace fish farming to not only boost their economic base but also their health and well being.
Addressing Members of Chevaywa Aquaculture Field School (AFS) in Lukova village, Lugari sub county fisheries officer Mr. Caleb Sifuna urged residents to stop overreliance on crop production and embark on agricultural diversification programme for maximum production.
Encouraging them to venture into fish farming, Sifuna said it was very fundamental not only for its high protein content and nutritional value but also a promising commercial venture.
He said that the commercial undertaking of fish extends beyond consumption because it is also used for its aesthetic nature like in some offices or hotels or even homesteads.
He said the County government of Kakamega was committed to promoting fish farming by providing fingerlings and pellets at a subsidized price and help farmers get maximum profit adding that other organizations such as International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are also supporting fish farming.
He said through the Aquaculture Field Schools famers were being trained on fish management starting from sinking of pond, stocking, sampling, feeds preparation among others.
Sifuna encouraged farmers who have been training for the last 34 weeks to share the knowledge with their friends and inform them of the need for a nurturing culture of growing and eating fish for it’s not only a source of income but also creates employment if conducted well.
“Through the aquaculture field school we take famers through all steps in fish management to ensure they carry out farming without any problem. It’s a process that brings extension officers to the farmers at the grassroots level and the officers understand challenges facing farmers, thus can help them. We are using the bottom- up approach,” said Sifuna.
Members of the Chevaywa Aquaculture field school lauded the programme which they said has impacted them with skills to successfully undertake fish farming.
Led by their vice chairman Mr. Nicholas Kamai they said each member has at least one pond while others have two and others three. “We are 34 members, 19 men and 15 women, and we are working as a team to support each other even on the private pond to ensure we succeed together,” said Mr. Kamai.