e-Solution for Fish Marketing in Lake Victoria: Case Study of Muhuru Bay and Kirongwe
Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water body in the world after Lake Superior and the largest in Africa. With its 69,000 km2 cover, the lake was designated as an economic growth zone with the potential to develop into a major common economic hub for East Africa countries. In fact, it was because of this potential that triggered boarder conflicts among the riparian countries. Considering the steep rise in fish demand both in the local and international markets and constant decline in fish yields since 1990s, urgent solution to these problems was necessary. e- Solution model was designed to provide a reliable and practical mechanism in improving fish trade along Lake Victoria. To achieve this goal, the study first investigated the existing e-commerce models relevant to fish marketing along L. Victoria, conducted a case study to assess the needs and values of fish traders and developed e-commerce adaptive to the needs of all stakeholders in this trade. The analysis of the collected data from the field revealed that over 80% of stakeholders in this trade approved the adoption of ICT in the trade. This they cited will drastically change the negative perceptions fishermen have in the trade. The e-Solution model was tested to evaluate its validity and viability using a prototype developed using the principles, procedures and tools of Rapid Application Development (RAD) method. Various applications like PHP, MySQL and Frontline SMS was very useful for developing both web and SMS applications. This enabled provision of real-time fish marketing information to fish traders and the goal of the model of improving fish trade by ensuring transparency and equity in this trade was achieved. Finally, since many users approved and supported actual implementation of the model, it was concluded that this study achieved its goal of developing a model that could be used by stakeholders to effectively and efficiently modernize fish trade along Lake Victoria. The model therefore will contribute towards making L. Victoria a major economic hub for East Africa countries.
School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi