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Developing the tilapia value chain

The context

The Kenyan fisheries sector plays an important role in the economic and social development of the country. But in the coastal region, reduced aquaculture and fisheries production caused by over exploitation of the available resources is pushing more communities into poverty.

What are we doing?

As part of the ‘Go Blue Programme’ co-funded by the European Union and the German Government, Farm Africa is implementing the project on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to help develop small fish farming businesses in coastal Kenya that produce the valuable freshwater fish tilapia.

The project will:

  • strengthen the region’s economy through skills development and matching. Using an inclusive, integrated, participatory and sustainable approach, young people and women will be involved in the aquaculture value chain to help develop a thriving tilapia sector.
  • create job opportunities, boost incomes, improve the business environment and stimulate entrepreneurship within the tilapia value chain. Moreover, a developed coastal aquaculture sector has the potential to contribute to the GDP of Kenya as a whole.
  • work with 500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tilapia value chain, including 70% young people and 35% women, from Tana River and Taita Taveta counties. With a regional approach, the project will build on the strength of each county and create market linkages to the other coastal counties of Mombasa, Lamu, Kilifi and Kwale to foster a strong coastal aquaculture sector.

The project will be implemented collaboratively with county governments’ departments of fisheries, and other value chain actors.

How are we doing it?

This project will develop MSMEs’ skills in aquaculture farming by:

  • Selecting, recruiting and training 500 MSMEs involved in the inland tilapia value chain. These will include fish farmers, input suppliers, equipment distributors, transporters, fish processors, market off-takers and any other private sector service provider involved in the tilapia sector.
  • Recruiting and working with 30 master trainers who will oversee the upgrading of existing extensive and semi-intensive freshwater tilapia farms into model demonstration farms.
  • Recruiting and training ten youth aquaculture agents (AAs) in tilapia farming and business development. Three AAs will be involved in routinely monitoring farmers’ and other MSMEs’ technical and business knowledge.
  • Facilitating the development of tilapia fry nurseries within the counties so farmers can access affordable quality fingerlings (baby fish).
  • Building capacity of six vocational training centres to roll out the Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) aquaculture curriculum.
  • Transferring knowledge at aquaculture round tables and farmer cooperatives’ exchange networks.

The project will also strengthen the aquaculture value chain by:

  • Developing business cases for the fish farmers’ producer groups.
  • Fostering the creation of both horizontal and vertical linkages among MSMEs in the tilapia value chain.
  • Coaching and mentoring the MSMEs to improve their business management skills.
  • Developing an Aquaculture Sector Development Strategy.
  • Improving conditions and promoting standards for sustainability.

Who are we doing it with?

The tilapia value chain project is being implemented by Farm Africa on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as part of the Go Blue partnership between the EU and the Government of Kenya to advance the Blue Economy Agenda through Coastal Development. Implementation is done in close cooperation with the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) and relevant government ministries at national level.


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