By Reuben Olita
The County Government of Busia today commissioned the Wakhungu Fish Eatery in Nangina Ward, Samia Sub County, making it the first county to own a fishery joint.
In a speech read on his behalf by Agriculture Executive, Dr Moses Osia, Busia Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong said the project funded by the County Government of Busia in partnership with Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) will increase per capita of fish.
“It will also provide market for the table size fish and enhance uptake of fish value addition technologies and innovations to the beneficiary communities,” he said.
The Governor said with KCSAP’s support, Wakhungu hatchery has been furnished with recirculatory aquaculture system to boost the production of quality fish fingerlings to a capacity of 1.5 millon fingerlings per annum.
He added: ” Nasewa fish feed production has also been supported by KCSAP through installation of a pelletizer machine for production of quality floating pellets.”
H.E Ojaamong said the objectives of aquaculture production is to increase the volume of aquaculture production from 1,080 tones to 4,300 tones annually by the end of 2022.
The county chief thanked Maseno University for establishing a Biofloc technology system in the ponds (Bukani Aquapark) and hatcheries (Wakhungu hatchery) with the aim of increasing fish larval survival and productivity, and reduce production cost.
He lauded University of Eldoret for designing and installing 14-metre diameter fish cages in the open water of Lake Victoria in Bunyala Sub County to increase fish production and productivity.
“I also appreciate the role played by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) for setting up an online Aquaculture Market Information System(AquaMIS) and for procuring fish value addition and post harvest technologies equipment to beneficiary groups for increased incomes and improved livelihoods.
He went on, “Furthermore, KMFRI, Sagana has provided farmers (Bukani Aquapark) and hatcheries (Wakhungu Hatchery) with improved Nile Tilapia broodstock and seeds produced from YY technology to promote improved fish strains and health management practices for climate smart aquaculture.”
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) also received the Governor’s accolades for establishing Black Soldier Fly (BSF) production plant in Nasewa fish feed plant to upscale production of insect-based protein- rich feeds for enhanced nutrition and health of fish.
State Department of Fisheries Principal Secretary, Francis Owino in a speech read on his behalf of Regional Director, Samson Kidera, said Kenya with an aquaculture production of 20,000 metric tonnnes, is ranked fourth largest producer of farmed fish in Africa, with tilapia and catfish being the most farmed fish species in the country.
“There is need for localized fish culture technologies to increase fish production. Fingerpond technology transforms waste lands to fish production hotspots within flooding areas, while an aquaculture agriculture integrated system ensures the concept of blue-cycling as a resource efficient technology that enhances productivity with minimal resource input.
Maseno University Vice Chancellor, Prof Julius Nyabundi lauded the County Government of Busia over its efforts to revamp fishing in the county, urging it to upscale fish marketing.
“Let fish markets be attractive by maintaining top class hygiene. I urge KMFRI to overproduce fingerlings to enable the country have surplus for export to the Great Lakes Region,” he said.
Dr Osia thanked researchers for using Busia to undertake their adaptive research, adding that Wakhungu is perhaps the only facility in Kenya that produces fingerlings and undertakes training for farmers and officers.
Those in attendance included Chief Officers Ruth Muhongo, Moses Weunda and Eng Richard Achiambo, Directors Timothy Odende, Moses Weunda, Samson Khachina, David Mukabane and County Nutrition Coordinator, Scholastica Nabade.