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Siaya County announces plans to tap Ksh 4B fishing market

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Siaya County government has announced new measures aimed at promoting sustainable fishing in the region.

In a bid to unlock the Ksh 4 billion fish market the county government will prioritize training fishermen with modern skills, advocate for safe fishing practices, and promoting value addition to increase fishers’ income and improve their livelihoods.

“Fish farming is one of the key components of our economic transformation agenda that we will continue to support in order to increase our income generation,” said James Orengo, Governor Siaya County when he officiated the World Fisheries Day 2023 Celebrations at Liunda Beach in Bondo Sub County.

Siaya County relies on Lake Victoria and Kanyaboli for its natural fisheries resources.

The two lakes contribute to over 95pc of the annual fish production by weight, producing about 30,000 metric tons of fish annually and earning the fishers over Ksh 4 billion.

According to the 2020 boat census, Siaya Waters of Lake Victoria has 14,708 fishing crews who operate 5,090 crafts used in lake fishing.

“Therefore it is evident that the fisheries resources of Siaya County underpin the livelihoods of many residents in-terms of food and employment directly and indirectly through allied industries and support services,” he added.

The County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock, and Blue Economy, K’Okoth Sylvestre, emphasized the importance of safe and regulated fishing practices.

“Fishing practices that destroy the fishing habitat, fishing for juvenile fish or using unauthorised means must be discouraged as a way of ensuring sustainability of this resource. It is also an opportunity to focus on other livelihood options as a safety net for the increasing demand for this nutritious food,” said Sylvestre.

The county already has Lwanda K’Otieno Fish Processing Plant which has opened new opportunities for utilization of by-catch and low-value fish catches.

“Since these products are high-value fish-based coated products, the economic activities can offer good dividends to everyone in the production and distribution network,” said Sylvestre.

Chief Officer for Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock and Blue Economy, Elizabeth Adongo said current change in climatic conditions, increasing production costs and rising population continue to make farming business in the county harder.

The Directorate of Fisheries has expanded to 42, number of fisheries staff to ensure that all farmers in the county receive individual attention.

This move will help farmers to navigate the current difficulties and thrive in their business.

“We are committed to continuously look into their welfare, provide an enabling working environment and offer regular training for enhanced skills which would directly be impacted to fishing communities investments,” said Adongo.

Siaya County has been allocated Ksh 1.5 Billion towards the development of the fish landing sites of Luanda Kotieno, Asembo Bay and Wich Lum.

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