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    Fish farmers in Kenya can now earn up to Sh800 per kilo of fillet, almost double the price of what they normally get locally, by exporting their produce to the lucrative European Union (EU) countries, thanks to an approval granted to the country by the union in August last year.
    However, while the announcement came as good news for thousands of fish farmers in the country, most are still likely to miss out on this opportunity due to lack of market information especially on global standard hygienic conditions.
    In allowing Kenya to export Tilapia and Catfish species, the EU for instance want farmers to ensure that their fish are free from aflatoxin, pesticides, disease-causing organisms and additives, aspects a farmer rearing in a small pond in a local village in Kiambu cannot adequately meet.
    In a bid to help farmers reap from the export market, various fish farmer unions are now delivering first hand international market information and training to their members across the country. The Aquaculture Association of Kenya (AAK), for instance, has been at the forefront in conducting workshops and developing fish collection and delivery centres for its members across the country. In order to enable farmers deliver fresh fish, the association ensures that fish from farms are carried in clean and cooled insulated motorbike cooler boxes.
    Besides ensuring that fish farmers in the country meet the required market standards, the union is also bringing farmers together to enhance market sustainability and give them bargaining powers. For a fish farmer to join an umbrella like AAK, he must apply and be ready to work in line with union’s mission and vision. He must also pay sh500 registration fee and an annual subscription fee of Sh1000. The union has already established 10 fish outlet centers and four mini processing plants across the country.
    The EU’s approval allowing Kenya to export Tilapia and Catfish mostly reared by most smallholder farmer in the country means that, Kenya is likely to increase its fish export revenues which has been majorly been coming from Nile perch and ornamental fish
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    For more information on how to join Aquaculture Association of Kenya (AAK), kindly contact +254 0726 717 949 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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    Farmers in drier areas have been asked to grow gum and resin producing trees to bridge the global demand gap.

    Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Director Ben Chikamai says the current supply is 30,000 short of the global demand of gum and resin.

    Gums and resins are used in making food additives, pharmaceuticals, print paints, among other products.

    “There is great demand for the products standing at 100,000 metric tonnes whilst the current supply is 70,000. There is immense opportunity to fill this gap,” the director says.

    Gums and gum resins are harvested from comiphorra, boswellia, steruculia and acacia trees, which still do well arid and semi arid areas.

    Th gum is harvested in form of opoponax, myrr and franchincense.

    A recent report by the Transparency market Research says the rising demand for paints is also driving the demand for the gums and resin.

    Recently, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu said plans are underway to straighten commercialisation challenge facing the poorly developed sector.

    The main one has been lack of proper policy guiding exploitation and sale of the crop, leaving many growers vulnerable to middlemen who have links to international markets.

    Kenya earned Sh850 million in 2013 after Isiolo, Marsabit Garissa, Moyale, Samburu, Mandera, Turkana and Wajir counties exported 3,000 metric tonnes of gums and resins.

    On average, one tonne of gum resin can fetch Sh100,300, translating to about Sh103 per kilogramme.

    The trees do not need a lot of husbandry.

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