Fish Farming In Meru
Kenya, like many other Sub-Saharan African countries faces perennial food shortages, due to harsh climatic conditions, conflicts and tribal wars and most recently, locusts have caused havoc on vegetation leaving most land bare. This has led to poor harvests, hunger and starvation and consequently high levels of poverty among many communities that depend on small scale farming for livelihoods. The consequences of COVID – 19 have made the situation even worse. This problem therefore, needs a sustainable strategy to enable Africa feed her population and end endemic poverty. One of the many sustainable solutions lie in fish farming in small ponds, where the same water can be used for small scale irrigation to grow vegetables.
Sustainable, productive fisheries and aquaculture improve food and nutrition security, increase income and improve livelihoods, promote economic growth and protect the environment and natural resources. With proper planning and good management, fish farming can be a profitable business venture. As the old adage goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” In this spirit, we intend to start a small scale fish farming venture at our block, where we grow lentils and vegetables and we also run a small school that is also a feeding center for children in our community. We also intend to make this a demonstration farm where the community can learn about fish farming as a source of income and also for their daily source of protein. This will equip the local people with skills in farming and help them earn some income.
We intend to roll out and fill the first pond with 1000 tilapia fish soon. Our target is with time to have more ponds on our block and have this replicated within the communities here.
Pond, pond lining and predator pond cover - 30,000 Ksh (USD 300)
Pipes, connectors and plumbing - 10,000 ksh ($100)
Fish fingerlings (1000) @ 20 sh each - 20,000 ksh ($200)
Fish feeds for 5 months - 100,000 ksh ($1000)
Freezer to transport to market - 60,000 ksh ($600)
Marketing and profits
The demand for fresh fish is big in hotels, markets and in small eateries around in Meru, Isiolo and in many other counties in Kenya. The prices range from 300 ksh ($3) a kilo, so a 1000 fish can fetch us 300,000 ksh ($3000) in 4 months, thereby realizing a profit of 80,000 ksh ($800) in the first round. We should expect higher returns in subsequent rounds because we shall only be incurring feed and fingerlings costs. This business then can be expanded after 2 years to increase the ponds, make our own feeds to cut down the high costs of feeds, and start rearing seed fingerlings for our own ponds and sell to the community members to also start farming fish. Eventually, the bigger plan is to organize local farmers into a fish farmers’ co-operative society to help market fish locally and export to international markets.
We will appreciate your kind efforts to help us realize this dream.