Fish production in Murang’a County is expected to go up after more than 100 farmers in Gatanga Sub County were issued with fingerlings.
The department of fisheries in partnership with Gatanga NG-CDF has given out 50,000 tilapia fingerlings to farmers who earlier benefited from a government-sponsored programme that saw the construction of water pans in Ithanga area.Each farmer was issued with 500 fingerlings on December 22nd, aimed at increasing fish farming, thus boosting food security in the semi-arid parts of the county.
Ithanga area so far has benefited from 500 water pans constructed by the national government to the tune of Ksh60 million.The pans were done by the National Irrigation Authority to tap runoff water to boost irrigation farming. Apart from providing water for irrigation, the pan will now serve another purpose of rearing fish.An official from the department of fisheries David Waweru has observed that the ponds can support fishing farming, thus ensuring farmers get alternative sources of income.
He said the area will be a major source of fish in the near future to meet growing demand in the country. The department will offer technical assistance to farmers on fish keeping.“The government is geared towards attaining food security especially in arid and semi-arid areas and fish farming is one of many areas the government is investing to attain the goal on food security,” he added.
Waweru further said the department is working on issuing another 500,000 fingerlings for public dams. He said local farmers will take advantage of the high demand for fish and make extra returns while still getting a good balanced diet. “The warm weather in this area is favorable and we know the fish will do well,” said Waweru, noting that the fish is expected to mature in eight months.Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati on his part promised to provide a refrigerator that will help farmers with fish storage before they are transported to markets.
Fish farming in the area, Nduati noted, will not only provide residents with much-needed protein but also create employment to hundreds of locals. “The government is investing heavily in the agricultural sector as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta Big 4 Agenda. Fish farming is one of the activities to make sure people have enough food,” stated Nduati at Kakuku area where the farmers were issued with the fingerlings.