Fish farmers from Bondo and Rarieda sub – counties yesterday benefitted from 15 predator control kits and five pond liners as the County celebrated its first ever Aquaculture day at Fred Obudho’s Fish farm in Bondo Sub – County.
The historic event which is an initiative of Aquaculture Business Development Program (ABDP) is meant to acknowledge the importance of fish farming as an important Agricultural industry that should be embraced to enhance nutrition and create more wealth. This year’s theme is dubbed ‘Fish for All. All for fish, leaving no one behind’.
Speaking during the colorful ceremony, the Chief Guest and County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Food, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo acknowledged the importance of such an occasion as a platform for sharing and learning diverse skills that can aid in building individual enterprises.
She assured farmers that the department will continue to work with fish farmers through interventions of different programs like ASDSP II and KCSAP who are complementing ABDP in increasing fish stocks within Siaya boundaries.
On the other hand, Chief Officer Mr. Charles Siso encouraged farmers to plant crops that can be used as raw materials by feed millers. He argued that the millers are currently using a lot of money to import raw materials that can otherwise be grown locally to boost the economy. He however made it clear that the same millers shouldn’t exploit buyers by setting unrealistic prices or selling sub – standard products.
Also present was the County Director of fisheries Mr. Japheth Bolo who reiterated Mr. Siso’s sentiments on the need for quality feeds. He stated that there is still a deficit and that’s why the Government is currently in the process of procuring and distributing over 20 metric tons of feeds as a boost to subsistence farmers.
Mr. David Mboya the ABDP Coordinator noted that the program is working closely with all relevant partners to address farmers’ challenges in fish farming and that yesterday’s beneficiaries are just a handful of the over 380 that have been earmarked for a first phase favor.
It is envisaged that with proper management, the beneficiaries should be able to produce around 85 tonnes of fish within 10 months and this will be a big step towards restoring the County’s muscle in fish production.