On behalf of the National Government, Chief Administrative Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Mr. Lawrence Omuhaka yesterday presided over the distribution of input materials and equipment for extension services under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP).
24 Pond liners, 101 predator nets, five motor bikes and three lap tops were given out at the Directorate of Fisheries compound in an event that marks the first phases of a journey that seeks to reach out to over 35,000 farmers either through input supply or extension.
“These materials are meant to enhance farmers’ capacities towards food and nutrition security, one of the pillars of the Big 4 agenda that is geared towards realization of vision 2030. Siaya County has a great potential in aquaculture therefore we believe that this programme will continue to uplift the local fish farmers to generate money”, said Mr. Omuhaka as he gave his address.
Accompanying him was the Principal Secretary for state department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and blues economy Dr. Francis Owino who urged all the beneficiaries to use the materials for the right course so that production is enhanced in the long run.
“The size of Lake Victoria will never increase but the pressure on it keeps increasing day by day due to the increasing population. We therefore need to produce more on land than on the lake if we are to balance the ecosystem”, he added.
The County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Food, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo on her side appreciated the team for the good gesture that is meant to eliminate poverty in Siaya.
She assured that together with her competent team, they will make sure that farmers are reached out to by the aid of the donated motorbikes and data compiled using the laptops to ensure real time monitoring of the implementation process.
She finally told the farmer beneficiaries to consider this as a boost or a starter pack to ensuring they can be stand alones even without subsequent support from the Government.
Also present was Mohamed Barre (County Commissioner), Charles Siso (Chief Officer Agriculture), Dr. Isaac Wamalwa (National ABDP Deputy Coordinator), Hon. Willis Ochieng (County Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairperson), Japheth Bolo (County Director of Fisheries), David Mboya (County programme Coordinator) and Martin Dobi (Chief Admin Department of Agriculture).