Friday, 13 November 2020 12:43

Aquaculture Productivity in Kenya

Written by Dr. P. Orina1*, E. Kembenya2 and H. Charo-Karisa3
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Dr. P. Orina1*, E. Kembenya2 and H. Charo-Karisa3

1Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kegati Aquaculture Centre,

P.O. Box 3259-40200, Kisii, Kenya

2Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Sangoro Aquaculture Station,

P. O. Box 136- 40111, Pap Onditi, Kenya

3WorldFish Center, Cairo Office P. O. Box 1281, Abbassa Research Center, Abbassa,

Abou-Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt

Kenya’s aquaculture dates back to 1920s and in the 1960s, deliberate efforts to develop the sector were seen through international agencies, bilateral donor programs and the Kenyan government but has experienced slowed growth just like in many other developing countries despite immense water resource and an array of potential aquaculture fish species. Aquaculture in Kenya has in the past traditionally been characterized by earthen ponds located by the riversides with O. niloticus and Clarias gariepinus being the widely cultured species predominantly under extensive system. Ochorychus mykiss though highly priced has been limited to high altitudes along the Mount Kenya regions depending on raceways under semi-intensive system. Similarly mariculture limited to the coastal region a more recent approach has experienced slowed uptake with Chanos chanos, Mugl cephalas and Scylla serrata being the main culture species. The mainly extensive approach to aquaculture resulted in low production upto most recently (2007; 4,240MT and 2009; 4,895MT) despite several promotions by government and private agencies. However, in 2009, the government sub-sector support through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), aquaculture production rose from 4,895MT in 2009 to 12,154MT in 2010 and heat the peak in 2014 at 24,098MT. Unfortunately a slowed production was once again experienced from 2015 to date with pond based production currently estimated at 15,124MT. The ESP multiplier effect includes adoption of Re-circulative aquaculture system (RAS) and now the rapidly growing cage culture in L. Victoria and in small water bodies of central Kenya. Cage culture though a recent approach has experienced rapid expansion and production from 3,180MT in 2017 to the current 15,000MT. This overally places aquaculture production in Kenya at an estimated 30,000MT. This is under production considering the immense potential along the coastal EEZ and conducive environment across most inland Counties. There is need for County Governments to refocus on aquaculture as a potential source of employment, food security and nutrition an approach successfully achieved by Asian countries. Further there is need for technology and innovation approach to ensure aquaculture production intensification with diminishing land and water resource.

Key Words: Aquaculture, Species, Production, Innovation, Technology, Kenya

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