• It is an initiative supported by the African Union- InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources and funded by the European Union
• Director of Fisheries and Agriculture says the women network will help women in the country link up with their colleagues for benchmarking and opportunities.
The national African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network Kenyan Chapter was on Thursday launched during a fisheries workshop in Nairobi.
It is an initiative supported by the African Union- InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources and funded by the European Union.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, director of Fisheries and Agriculture Rodrick Kundu said the establishment of the women network Kenya chapter will help women link up with their colleagues for benchmarking and opportunities.
Some 32 women drawn from more than 25 counties attended the event.
Kundu encouraged and urged women to venture into fish farming for a better future. He said the government, apart from reforming the Fisheries sector is collaborating with other partners to invest in the industry.
"We are implementing an aquaculture program financed by International Fund for Agricultural Development in conjunction with the Kenyan government to the tune of sh14 billion and sub-counties in Central and Western Kenya," he said.
He described the launch of the African women's fish processors, traders’ network as a game-changer in the agricultural sector.
"We want to transition from subsistence fish farming to commercial aquaculture," Kundu said.
African Union- InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources acting director Nick Nwankpa in a statement thanked the Kenyan government for accepting to support women in the fisheries and aquaculture sector organise into a national network as among the mechanisms for fostering equity and sustainability within Africa’s fish sector.
"Our action today follows the outcomes of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods,’’ Nwankpa said.
He called upon the sector's development partners and all those of goodwill to support the noble cause.
Janet Chedutum, a fish farmer from Kapenguria in West Pokot, expressed her happiness on the launch of the network, looking forward to learning more from her fellow women in the sector.
Chedutum noted that it is easy to move forward and together while in a group compared to an individual.
"We anticipate that the government will also help us get a continental or a global market so that we are able to benefit from this commercial aquaculture,’’ Chedutum said.
The network is envisaged to provide a platform for women fish processors and traders in the continent to collaborate and cooperate; Share best practices, experiences, technologies and learning together.
The women will advocate issues affecting their activities and facilitate enabling policy environment to enhance their role in the fisheries sector in Africa.
The will also strengthen their role as small-medium enterprises hence expanding their market and marketing opportunities, resulting in improved intra-regional African fish trade for food security and nutrition.