Agriculture stakeholders in Kakamega County among them fish farmers on Thursday marked the inaugural Annual Aquaculture Day in a colourful event held at Jafi Fish Farm in Lurambi Sub-County, Kakamega County.
Kakamega County Deputy Governor H.E Prof. Philip Museve Kutima who graced the event on behalf of H.E the Governor Dr. FCPA Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya thanked the County Government staff for organizing the event, and IFAD for funding Aquaculture Business Development Programme (ABDP), which aims at achieving food and nutritional security as well as increasing income for small aquaculture farmers and all players in the value chain across the County.
In his speech delivered by his Deputy, Governor Oparanya observed that the celebrations come barely a fortnight ago after Kakamega County was awarded the first position in fish farming countrywide by Lattice Aquaculture Academy as a result of farmers hardwork and commitment in fish farming coupled with government support through extension services and subsidised fish feeds.
“Today we celebrate our milestones in the Department of Fisheries, as we sensitize our farmers and create awareness on Aquaculture. So far we have close to 7000 fish farmers in the County with over 9000 fish ponds; the County Government has invested over Sh100 million and continues to partner with farmers through provision of subsidized fish feeds and fingerlings,” read the Governor’s speech.
He said Aquaculture plays a crucial role in Agricultural diversification, enhancement of food security as well as economic empowerment and advised farmers to join cooperatives for easy access to ready market and financial support.
CECM for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Cooperatives and Irrigation Madam Rachel Okumu explained that the aim of the project is to empower farmers economically and provide food security by embracing diversification of agriculture.
Chief Officer for Agriculture Mr. Jeremiah Namunyu announced that the County Government has appointed new Fisheries Extension Officers in every Sub-County to offer support and sensitize farmers on the best fish farming practices.
ABDP is funded by IFAD to support Aquaculture Business in fifteen Counties across the Country, at a cost of Sh14.9 billion. This year’s theme is “Fish for All, All For Fish, Leave No One Behind.”
In attendance were IFAD Deputy Program Coordinator Dr. Isaac Wafula, Butsotso Central MCA Hon. Linstone Ambundo, Director Fisheries Mr. Zephaniah Otieno, County IFAD Program Coordinator Mr. Norman Munala, Lurambi Sub-County Administrator Mr. Juma Omwendo and other officials from both levels of Government.