Factors influencing fresh water Fish farming in Embu north district, Kenya
Kenya Vision 2030 is the country’s new development covering the period 2008 to 2030 and it aims at transforming Kenya into a newly industrialised middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030. In a bid to realise vision 2030 strategic plan, the Kenyan government injected 70 million U.S. dollars between 2009 and 2013 financial years to invest in fish farming for food security under the social economic pillar. However, demand for fish in Kenya has been on the increase, while the supply of fresh water fish from capture fisheries has been on the decline in the first decade. As world fish catches continue to decline and population continue to increase, aquaculture has great potential for growth in Kenya to produce the critical volumes of fish to fill the growing gap between National fish supply and demand. Literature reviewed showed that fresh water fish farming brings forth to sustainable development and is a pathway towards achievement of first millennium development goal on eradication of extreme hunger and poverty. This study therefore sought to examine the factors influencing fresh water fish farming in Embu North District. The specific factors which were assessed include; ecological factors, social economic factors, training and extension services and the influence of marketing on fresh water fish farming in Embu North District. The significant of this study is to improve the fresh water fish farming in terms of revenue, efficiency and expansion hence enabling the government’s economic growth for the achievement of millennium development goals and vision 2030. This will consequently improve the living standards of majority of Kenyans who are struggling to make a living. The researcher employed a descriptive research design. The target population for this study was 164 respondents .The study took a census of 164 respondents from Embu North District. Data collected using questionnaires was analysed by the use of descriptive statistics using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and MS Excel and was presented using percentages and means. The information was written in prose and presented using tables. The study showed that majority (50.3%) of respondents stocked Tilapia. The research further showed that availability of capital was the main determinant of the number of fish ponds each farmer had according to 49.7% of respondents .The study showed that majority (55.9%) of respondents had not experienced any fish problem and diseases however,34.8% of respondents experienced fish stress due to lack of oxygen in the pond. The study also showed that 68% of respondents had the problem of pollution from farm chemicals however left over feeds and excess feeds followed .The study showed that birds were the main fish predators as indicated by 64.6% of respondents followed by snakes and otter .The study also showed that Combination of agriculture and aquaculture improved food supply in Embu North District. The study indicated that majority (86.3%) of the respondents sold their raw fish to local markets. The main conclusion of the study is that fresh water fish farming is highly influenced by the type of fish species stocked, availability of clean water, favourable environment in the pond, availability of market and farm inputs. The recommendations of the study shows that the Government should join hands with private partners to come up with quality fish species, subsidized farm inputs, come up with policies and regulations on pond pollution from farm chemicals and lastly further research and development especially on fish diseases and other innovations on fish culture and management systems which is a vehicle towards sustainable fresh water fish farming. The study will benefit Government officers, fish service providers, farmers, future researchers and other stakeholders.