A fish farmer in Kakamega County, Kenya has turned things up a notch, improving the quality of his fish by cross-breeding the local variety with fish breeds from Lake Kioga in Uganda.
The move is the first of its kind in an area where many residents are turning to fish farming to supplement their low earnings from sugarcane and maize production.
Mr.Wilfred Makokha, who runs 18 fish ponds in Burenga village, Esumuyia Lurambi division, is currently earning Sh 65,000 per month from the ponds. The former technician at Mumias Sugar Company has been certified by the government to breed fish. On average he produces 500 table-sized fish per month to sell on the local market, and hundreds of fingerlings to sell to fish farmers.
Makokha says he first ventured into fish farming in 1994 and received training from experts contracted by the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Agri-business Project (KAPAP). He was further trained by experts facilitated by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
To boost his fish business Mr. Makokha says that three months ago he brought 475 fingerlings from Lake Kioga in Uganda and cross-bred them with the fish in his ponds. The growth rate of his fish is now faster, and he hopes the measure will give him fish that mature earlier altogether.
Blog post by Grace Wekesa, a social media reporter for AASW6.