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VIDEO: How to maximise aquaculture productivity in Kenya

03 April 2017

Kenya’s appetite for fish is on the rise. Due to the country’s expanding population and Lake Victoria’s dwindling supply of wild fish, the country is failing to meet demand resulting in price hikes and an influx of imported fish.

This needn’t be the case. Farm Africa’s Kenya Marked-led Aquaculture Programme (KMAP) works with local farmers across western Kenya, the epicentre of Kenya’s fledgling aquaculture industry, to help them build successful fish farms.

In Farm Africa’s new video Fish farming tips - quality feeds, the organisation’s roster of aquaculture experts, farmers, traders, suppliers and development professionals draw upon their combined experience to provide viewers with practical advice on how to optimise productivity and reduce waste through successful farm management.

Key to growing the young industry is ensuring that farmers have access to high-quality fish feed. Access to high-quality, affordable inputs like fish feed and fingerlings can boost fish yields by up to 100%.

Farm Africa is helping promote quality feeds to fish farmers across 14 counties. Farm Africa has identified the best variety of feeds for local conditions, which provide all the nutritional needs that fish need to grow.

“Complete feeds are quality feeds.” Says Charles Ngala, Farm Africa KMAP Project Officer. “[Complete] feeds are made from a mixture of carefully selected ingredients to provide all the nutritional requirements of the fish. They are made in a form [floating pellets] that fish find it easy to eat and digest.”

The programme not only provides farmers with useful advice and guidance but also equips them with the technical know-how to identify the correct feed for their fish. Farm Africa teaches farmers to assess the nutritional data provided by manufacturers to identify quality feed with the necessary protein, minerals and vitamins required for fish to grow.

The high price of fish feed means that avoiding waste is crucial to securing profits and meeting the demands of the market. Alongside technical knowledge on what fish feed to buy, farmers are taught the latest best practice on how to minimise waste and maximise productivity.

Workshops on demonstration farms teach farmers how to maintain accurate records on fish yields so they can monitor their business and the impact of feed quality on productivity, as well as ascertain how much feed to use on a day-to-day basis.

During training sessions farmers are also taught how to train their fish to collect at designated feeding points, this methods ensures that farmers are “feeding the fish and not the pond” comments Charles Ngala.

Aquaculture has the potential to increase employment, boost incomes and provide families with an affordable and sustainable source of healthy protein, but farmers, suppliers and traders need continued support and investment if fish farming is to become a competitive industry.