TAPPING POTENTIAL

Taita Taveta steps up plan to promote tilapia farming

Over 300 farmers from the region have been trained on best aquaculture practices

In Summary
  • County’s fisheries department is implementing the Go Blue programme to revive and boost tilapia farming in the county.
  • The programme has revamped the training of fish farmers on practical skills of sustainable production.
Go Blue officials inspect a fish pond at Mkanga Mwachofi's farm in Birikani, Voi subcounty on June 20
Go Blue officials inspect a fish pond at Mkanga Mwachofi's farm in Birikani, Voi subcounty on June 20
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Taita Taveta county has stepped up plans to unlock the aquaculture by supporting farmers to take up lucrative tilapia fish farming.

The region is one of the areas with a high potential for tilapia fish farming in Kenya.

More than 300 fish farmers from the region have been receiving support from the German Development Agency, GIZ and European Union on best aquaculture practices.

Through the partners, the county’s fisheries department is implementing the Go Blue programme to revive and boost tilapia farming.

“The number of fish farmers in the county is still very low. The programme is targeting to double production to enhance food security and the economy," Arnoud Meijberg, a GIZ technical expert said.

The Go Blue programme, he said, has revamped training of fish farmers on practical skills of sustainable production.

"For you to set up a fingerlings hatchery, you need good training and a number of clients to enable you to operate profitably," he said.

Despite the region being classified under the arid and semi-arid lands, he said, there is still enough water to support aquaculture.

Mkanga Mwachofi, a tilapia farmer in Birikani, Voi subcounty and a beneficiary of the programme said the venture has created him a new source of income.

Mwachofi, however, said farmers should get sufficient training on fish pond maintenance, carrying capacity, hygiene, stress and quality of water.

“Those are some of the things that farmers should take care of for efficient fish production. There is a good market for fish and many farmers should be encouraged to join the venture,” he said.

Mwachofi said farmers are now faced with the high cost of production due to the soaring cost of fish feed.

“So far we have a total of 2,500 fish and we believe once they are ready for sale, we will make a good profit,” Mwachofi said.

 He said farmers are now considering making fish feeds locally to cut down the production cost.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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