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Fish farmers urged to form cooperatives

KNA   Fish farmers in Uasin Gishu County have been advised to form cooperative societies to benefit from government resources and incentives fully. 

Speaking at the county fisheries headquarters during the training of women fish farmers on how to formulate fish feeds, County Chief Officer (CO) Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Victoria Tarus, said forming cooperative societies will be beneficial to fish farmers as they will enable them to cut down on cost of production because they can buy inputs in bulk hence have negotiating powers for lower prices.

            “Through cooperatives, the county government can provide affordable loans to the farmers so that they acquire equipment to make feeds which can greatly improve their access to fish feeds thus improving their fortunes,” she said.

Dr Tarus indicated that failure by fish farmers to form cooperatives have made development partners focus on dairy and coffee farming where successful cooperatives societies have taken root. 

“We are encouraging fish farmers to form cooperatives because we have noticed when development partners come, they insist on funding cooperatives rather than individual farmers,” she observed.

Dr Tarus noted that although fish farming was facing several challenges, the county has made significant progress since the start of devolution.

“In early days of devolution, we struggled with a serious shortage of certified fingerlings, but we addressed the issue by building a hatchery in collaboration with the University of Eldoret. this has eliminated the need to acquire fingerlings from Kendu Bay,” she said.

According to the CO the challenge of expensive feeds has been solved through the provision of feed ingredients and training of fish farmers on how to make their own feeds.

Dr Tarus said the county had acquired a fish feed extruder at the cost of Sh3 million, which can produce half a tonne of floating pellets per hour.

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