A group of farmers from Nyeri County has adopted cage fish farming technology which for year has been a practice by farmers living around Lake Victoria to up their fish production.
Chinga Fishing Group of 15 members with the support from the county government is running the cage fish farm in Chinga Dam in Othaya.
The county government has invested Sh1m in the project as the group began keeping fish in the dam in April this year.
Cage fish farming technology is aquaculture model where fish is reared in cages in large, deep water bodies like lakes or dams, the natural environment where it normally lives.
Fingerlings are put in metal and plastic cages to protect them from predators while providing them with artificial feeds.
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According to Ezekiel Wachira, the chairman of Chinga Fishing Group, the group keep over 200,000 fish.
“We have 10 cages carrying about 200,000 fingerlings. The cages are assembled on the side of the dam with the assistance of county government officials and experts,” said Wachira.
“We make the cages using plastic rails that hold the nets and measure approximately 15 feet and one metre deep placing them two metres apart.”
The cages are fitted with at least six empty 20-litre jerricans each. The plastic containers are filled with ballast to anchor the cages on one spot in water to make them float.
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The group feeds the fish at least 5kg of feeds a day, with a 50kg bag going for Sh2,500 and they are expecting to start harvesting about 10,000 tilapia monosex fish by December this year.
According to Wachira the fish will attain the right weight by the time and be able to sell a kilogramme at Sh300.
With cage fish, the farmers expect their production to rise, and they will sell the fish to Wamagana Fisheries, open air markets and Gekomba Market which is one of the biggest markets in Nairobi.
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