By Robert Manyara NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Fisheries sector in Kenya is attracting more accommodating
innovations as the government seeks to tackle over-dependence on
lakes and ocean waters. One of them is the solar powered pond
Farm Africa, an
international organization working with rural Africa, is
popularizing this new way of rearing fish in Kenya, promoting
the government’s effort to reducing poverty through inland fish
The pump which can
be used by both small and large scale farmers, utilizes solar
power to pump water into and out of the pond, explained Solomon
Otieno, the organization’s marketing officer on Monday.
“Farmers can use the
water from the pond which is rich in nutrients to irrigate farms
and be able to increase their yields,” he told Xinhua.
Otieno said adoption
of the innovation draws attention away from fishing in the lakes
“We are popularizing
this solar pump for the ponds in 16 counties spread across the
country as we seek to encourage many farmers to rear fish in the
ponds,” he said.
In the past three
years, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Livestock has been aggressive in its campaigns
against over-dependence on lakes and Indian Ocean for fish.
It is encouraging
farmers to establish ponds within their farms as also a way of
increasing food security in the country, boosting nutrition in
homes and eliminating poverty from households.
aquaculture sector is yet to be among major contributors to the
Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it currently averages at
a mere 0.54 percent, according to 2013 Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) data.
Otieno said it is
not enough to train farmers on adoption of fishing technology if
they are unaware of how to market the fish.
“You can’t just
train farmers and leave them to think about the way forward. You
need to help them connect to the market,” he said.
“That is why we work
with all stakeholders along the value chain like those who
produce fingerlings, offer input and market.”
He said it is very
important for the farmers to have an insight of the market prior
to embarking on any farming venture to avoid losses.
He says innovations
play a role in enhancing farmers’ agricultural activities. “Some
of these new technologies coming up help the farmers to
commercialize well their farming and be able to succeed in
agribusiness,” he said.
Recent report by FAO
on state of global fisheries sector indicates an increase in
consumption of fish but raises concern on overfishing in fresh
and marine waters.
The 2016 State of
World Fisheries and Aquaculture report states that global per
capita fish consumption has risen to above 20 kilograms a year.
However, the fish
capture situation is worrying. FAO says in the report that
almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at
biologically unsustainable levels, triple the level of 1974.
Kenya now has a
fresh law on management on fisheries sector whose long-term
objective is to improve lives of Kenyans, especially those who
directly depend on fish farming for survival.
Management and Development Act (2016) has stipulated guidelines
on conservation, management and development of fisheries and
other aquatic resources in the country, regulations intended to
encourage sustainable fishing practices.