Low fish consumption is frustrating the State’s campaign to hook up more farmers into Kenya’s fast-growing agriculture segment, government officials say. Despite Sh5.7 bill. State investment in development of aquaculture in the last three years, annual fish consumption levels in the country remains low at 3.7 kg per person, according to Business Daily.
Micheni Ntiba, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries Development told an agricultural sector development forum in Nairobi that they wanted to raise per capita consumption to at least 10 kg in order to ensure that farmers had a market for their fish.
The ministry’s campaign to promote consumption of protein-rich fish comes in the wake of an International Food Policy Research Institute’s study which shows at least 35% of children in Kenya face malnutrition.
At least 150,000 farmers in 160 constituencies in the country have taken up fish farming since the government launched the campaign in 2009, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of agriculture.
Farmers, especially in Central Province, have however cited lack of market for fish as their biggest hurdle. Stringent quality standards have locked out most fish farmers from the lucrative European Union markets.
The ministry is now banking on the new fish markets that are slowly opening up in African countries such as South Sudan, DRC, Rwanda and Zambia to boost aquaculture.
Source: Business Daily Africa