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Budget constraints reason for delay in operationalization of fisheries parastatals

 

Report by Sally Namuye

Channel 1

Blue Economy and fisheries PS, Betsy Njani was today put to task by the Public Investment Committee on the delay of operationalization of Kenya Fishing Marketing Authority (KFMA) and the Kenya Fishing Industry Cooperation (KEFIC).

The legislators also queried spending of the two parastatals allocations yet the two organizations are yet to be operationalized. Officials from the Blue Economy department defended themselves saying the spending were routed to the parent ministry and could be accounted for.

“We have been constrained in terms of budget, procurement and also Human resource that is why the parastatals have not been operational.”Said Njani.

The PS told parliament that the two parastatals that were formed in 2018 were yet to start operations due to limited resources and staffing of the organizations are still ongoing.

Njagi assured parliament that the country is not currently importing fish from china as the government is seeking to curtail fish imports as it completes its fish projects across the country.

This PS says would protect local fishermen from cheap imports.  Among the fish projects the government has earmarked for completion in this financial year include the 1.8 billion shillings Liwatoni fisheries complex. The government is also setting up Shimoni Port in Kwale and Lamu Fish port to shore up deep sea fishing and increase local fish production.

Njagi added that the national government will be holding consultative meetings with county governments to reduce levies on local fish in a bid to reduce the cost of fish production. In a raft of measures to increase the sub sector’s production, PS Njagi told parliament , fishermen  will be aggregated to form cooperatives , to assist fishermen enjoy economy of scales and have access to fishing equipment and gear at a subsidized price.

“What we are trying to do is empower the local fishermen by organizing cooperatives and providing gear for them. We will also try to develop markets especially in Lake  Victoria and the Coastal region, “she said.

 

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