- The training targets to build capacity for the women to use food processing technology to preserve fish in order to reach a wider market for the highly perishable commodity.
- Nyambane said the targeted products include Nile Perch, Dagaa, Tilapia, and marbled lungfish amongst others where various techniques are being applied to prolong their shelf life.
Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) has partnered with the University of Nairobi (UON) to train fish farmers in Kisumu and Busia counties on value addition and preservation.
According to the Head of food technology research at KIRDI Gitutu Nyambane, the training targets to build capacity for the women to use food processing technology to preserve fish in order to reach a wider market for the highly perishable commodity.
Nyambane said the targeted products include Nile Perch, Dagaa, Tilapia, and marbled lungfish amongst others where various techniques are being applied to prolong their shelf life.
She said the women are being trained on fish drying, and deep frying techniques in a clean environment and at the same time on packaging that is appealing to new markets.
"The beneficiaries of this project are expected to cascade the knowledge to other women in their respective counties."
Speaking in Kisumu during the closing ceremony of the first cohort of the training, Nyambane added that they are applying the technology of food processing so that they can store these products for longer to reach a wider market.
"KIRDI has rolled out tests and trained the women on storing omena in vegetable oil and processed tomato sauce for longer shelf life. This can enable the traders a have their products canned and sold in supermarkets locally and internationally."
She said as an institution they will not only do training and capacity building but also provide adequate manufacturing spaces for startups
"KIRDI shall provide spaces for the women groups who have been trained to process and package their fish products and at the same time help them get standardization marks from the Kenya Bureau of Standards to widen their markets".
However, according to the University of Nairobi’s Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) Hub Director Mary Mbithi, they developed an incubation model where women from different sectors of the economy were being mentored, trained and supported to use resources at their disposal, add value and increase their income.
Mbithi said they are carrying out research and advocacy on women's economic empowerment.
"We are looking at different programmes and how women can access funds to enhance their participation in the economy,” she said.
She added that the Value addition project targets to boost earnings for women along the fish value chain.
"Through processing and packaging fish in hygienic conditions, the women will attract new markets with KEBS certification unlocking avenues for them to sell the products in supermarkets locally and across the borders."