Collins Adika, a fish breeder from Siaya County is cashing in a new technology that enables him deliver fingerlings of which about 98 per cent are males to cage fish farmers who raise then to table size for market.
The technology dubbed ‘Y-Y technology’ is introduced into a hatchery using a specific hormone and chemical mixed with starter feeds and fed to the fingerlings two days after they are hatched- when they still have no knowledge of any other feed and are aggressive, feeding very fast on whatever feed available.
They are then supposed to be fed with the mixture for 14 days consecutively upon which their gender is are supposed to be examined.
“Even for breeders like me, it is very difficult to tell the gender of fingerlings within 10 days after they are hatched but upon feeding them with this special feed for over two weeks I am able to distinguish my stock very well,” said Adika adding that the feed is able to convert almost all-female fingerlings to males.
It does not stop there, the young ones are again fed on the special diet for another 14 days when they are about 1.5 cm long. At this point where it marks the 28 days period, the fingerlings which are over 90 per cent males are ready to be sold to farmers.
However, in case they are not sold out, they are introduced to a pure starter feed mostly known to farmers as Raanan which they feed on awaiting market.
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Adika learned about this technology way back when he was working with Jambo Fish Western (K) Ltd which operated in Mumias, Kakamega County. Before collapsing in 2012, the company produced fingerlings and supplied to farmers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
“I chanced to get a sponsored training in the Netherlands by the firm and when it collapsed I moved to Uganda in 2014 and teamed with the ministry for fisheries to start Aqua Fish Farm and hatchery in Kampala,” said Adika.
In May this year when the partnership broke up, Adek and his brother Charles Otieno whom they had moved together to the neighbouring country came back and teamed up again with Dauglas Odero, an established fish farmer who owned a chain of fish ponds in Siaya County under Pacho Fish Farms.
The two decided to negotiate with the farmer who had neglected some three big ponds measuring 80x40m in the hands of some farmhands who had little knowhow in fish farming.
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Upon reaching on an agreement, the brothers started renovating the ponds and subdividing the ponds using cages. This resulted in six ponds or cages in which they have now set up hatcheries that currently has 70,000 fingerlings production capacity.
“We are very proud because in less than five months we have built such a fast-growing hatchery and we are now looking for fish farmers in need of seeds to contact us and be sure of high quality all males fingerlings,” said Adika.
Operating as Pacho Fish Farms situated at Rabango Village in Siaya, the farmers have also set up a feed manufacturing unit where they produce feeds for farmers. In addition, they are offering consultancy in fish farming at a fee besides giving free tips about the venture to their common customers.
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Adika can be reached on +254 724 739 933 while Otieno on +254 706 616 850