Farmer at his fish hatchery. Photo courtesy.
Kenya’s Victory Farms has announced plans to construct a 10,000 metric tonnes tilapia hatchery to increase the fish production and boost food security among over two million households in Kenya who directly depend on fish for food.
The plans which were announced during the just concluded Sustainable Blue Economy Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) will see the company become sub-Sahara Africa’s largest tilapia hatchery in 2019.
“We are proud to produce a fresh, delicious and healthy protein for tens of thousands of households across Kenya,” said Joseph Rehmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder.
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According to Kenya’s Aquaculture Brief 2017, the rapid growth of aquaculture in many parts of Kenya has necessitated a high demand of quality fish seed for the commonly cultured species; African catfish and Nile tilapia.
Despite sensitisation on the need to have quality brooders, some farmers still use fish stocks which are genetically similar or inferior to wild or undomesticated stocks due to unavailability of quality seed.
Nevertheless, the availability of quality fish seed is still a major prerequisite for sustainable aquaculture. In 2009 only 21 hatcheries producing either African catfish or Nile tilapia fingerlings existed. By June 2012 the hatcheries number had increased to 147 in number in various parts of the country but dropped to 127 by 2015.
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Victory Farms that started in 2015 is currently the largest fish farm in East Africa.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the average annual per capita fish consumption in sub- Saharan Africa is approximately 8.9 kilograms.
Tilapia is a traditional and favourite dish in almost all countries of sub-Saharan Africa, one of the most exploited inland water fish species in the region.
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The Blue Economy is a global emerging economic frontier. In Kenya, the blue Economy represent a huge opportunity and potential to achieve economic growth and generate jobs. The concept recognizes productivity of healthy freshwater and ocean ecosystems is a pathway for freshwater aquatic and maritime-based economies and promotes the conservation, sustainable use, and management of associated marine resources.