The Government will introduce aquaponics technology in 35 counties as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda on Food Security while also ensuring nutrition security in the country and promote the Blue Economy.
This was said by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of agriculture Linah Jebii Kilimo in a visit to Elgeyo Marakwet County. She said that the county has been chosen as one of the 35 training and multiplication centres of the technology which involves fish farming integrated with vegetable growing. Waste from the fish is used as fertilizer in the growth of vegetables ensuring that farmers who rear the fish will also have nutritious vegetables to feed their families.
Kilimo said the technology had guaranteed returns on investment within 5 – 6 months noting that currently, Elgeyo Marakwet produces 10 metric tonnes of fish yearly. “With this technology which requires very little space, only 10 farmers in the County can produce what the whole County produces in a year in addition to making good money. This is already happening in Nyeri County,” she said.
The County Governments and the Ministry of Agriculture State Department of Livestock will partner to roll out the project in the counties.
“We have also come to spread the good message of eating more fish because fish is highly nutritious and our people need to embrace fish in our household menus to boost our health,” added the CAS. Kilimo said that the County will be part of the ‘Eat More Fish Campaign’, run by the State Department of livestock to upscale eating of fish around the Country.
County Secretary Paul Chemmuttut thanked the State Department for choosing Elgeyo Marakwet to be among the beneficiaries saying fish farming and consumption was still very low in the County. “We appreciate that we have the potential but we have not taken up this opportunity because of lack of awareness on the benefits of fish farming. But with this project, I am confident our people will quickly embrace it and run away with it,” he said. He was flanked by Livestock & Fisheries CEC Joseph Kiyeng among other County Officials.
The CAS also said the Ministry will train the fisheries staff at no cost to the County after a request by the County Secretary.