Effects Of Management‟s Practices And Economic Stimulus Program On Fish Production In Mwea Division Of Kirinyaga County.
MetadataShow full item record
Aquaculture contributes about 7 billion shillings to the economy annually (Mbugua, 2006). Furthermore unlike other sources of protein, fish tend to be shared more equitably among households, including women, children and other vulnerable members of societies. Fish farming requires relatively light labour hence does not increase the work-load for burdened rural women. Fish processing, value addition and marketing also provide excellent opportunities for public private partnerships development. Government intervention in aquaculture started in 1921 when the colonial government introduced trout, common carp and black bass into the country. Despite many government initiatives, aquaculture has not been fully integrated with other farming systems and its contribution to the national economy is small. Sustainability and commercialization of fish farming are limited by an inadequate supply of good quality fish seeds, unavailability of good quality and inexpensive feeds, Inadequate data on diseases and parasites that affect farmed fish in Kenya, and challenges in value addition and marketing. A study was done to characterize fish farming practices used by farmers in Mwea Division of Kirinyaga district and to determine the management practices which had the greatest influence on fish yields. Specific objectives of the study were to evaluate the main fish farming practices adopted by fish farmers in the division, determine the main challenges and opportunities that exist in fish farming, explore gender roles, and responsibilities in fish farming and determine the preliminary effects of the Economic Stimulus program on fish farming in Mwea division. Results showed that over 66% of fish farmers were over 40 years of age, while approximately 60% of them were funded through the Economic Stimulus Program (ESP). 73 % of the farmers had earth ponds, while only 27% used lined ponds. Most of the farmers (55%) stocked tilapia in monoculture and 68%of farmers used organic manures to fertilize their ponds. Manure from ruminants was the most frequently used manure among farmers. Fish were harvested fish between 9 – 12 months after stocking and the average weights of the harvested fish were low. Most farmers identified marketing, lack of fingerlings and price of commercial feeds as the main challenges they faced in fish farming.