Fish farmers have been urged to adopt modern fish farming and harvesting methods as a way of doubling the sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product and also their income.
KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi said currently, Kenya has a fish demand of 400,000 tonnes but supply is only about 200,000 tonnes. “Adoption of modern methods will result in increased incomes and reduction of household poverty in addition to other socio-economic vulnerabilities,” she said.
Mwangi spoke in Bondo, Siaya county when issuing a Sh5.2 million cheque to 34 beneficiaries of KCB Foundation 2jiajiri programme who had completed their business plans.
She said there are significant opportunities for enterprise in the fishing industry, particularly in parts of Western Kenya region, adding that if the right kind of support is given to farmers, especially young people they will be able to play a leading role in revitalising the fishing sector.
“The only way to reduce fish and fishery products gaps between supply and demand is by introducing fish aquaculture. We will support them in growing their fishing activities through purchase of value chain items such as fishing nets, motorboats, engine and fish feeds,” she said.
The beneficiaries who hail from Siaya, Busia and Kisumu counties, had qualified to receive zero-rated loans to support the establishment and growth of their own businesses mainly in the fishing industry.
“We are focused on supporting entrepreneurs and holding their hands through the journey as a way of driving entrepreneurship and economic empowerment,” she said. 2jiajiri is the flagship youth empowerment programme of the KCB Foundation.
It is an enterprise development and wealth creation programme that aims to transform the youth of today into the employers of tomorrow. It also seeks to inspire the youth in Eastern Africa to realise their potential as business owners and job creators by generating sustainable employment.