Cage fish farmers in Kisumu will benefit from 500,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime to cushion them from the effects of recent fish deaths.
This comes as Kisumu County procured fingerlings and fish feeds worth Sh3 million to help farmers revive their cage businesses.
Farmers have incurred losses of more than Sh1 billion due to the natural phenomenon known as upwelling, said Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime CS Salim Mvurya.
"The last few weeks, cage farmers have been losing their catch. We are working with the technical team to make sure cage fish farming is revived," he said.
He went on: "We are on a fact-finding mission with the multi-agency team headed by the PS in charge of the blue economy to find the root cause of the fish deaths and submit a report in two weeks’ time."
As a lasting intervention, CS Mvurya said the national government is planning to introduce a policy for cage farmers to take insurance for their enterprises.
"Cage farming has to be insured. We are working on modalities and policies for farmers to get an insurance cover in case of any losses," he said.
He was speaking at Asat Beach, Seme sub-county, on Wednesday afternoon during a tour of the region. He was with Fisheries PS Dr Francis Owino, Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and other officials.
846 households affected
Some 846 households have been directly affected economically by the fish deaths, Governor Nyong'o said.
"The recent fish deaths have challenged us to think outside the box and do better ways of aquaculture. Farmers are in need of coolers and sustainable means of aquaculture," he said.
"We will procure fingerlings worth Sh2 million and fish feed worth Sh1 million to be distributed to the affected fish farmers in the mentioned beaches to help them restock and recover the losses.”
Meanwhile, CS Mvurya said that when a Sh1 billion fisheries aquaculture project is established, seven million fingerlings will be produced monthly, which will boost fish farming in lake region.
"With the approval of the Cabinet of phase one of the project, we will produce fingerlings and produce fish feeds for our farmers," he said.
The national government is also working to improve roads leading to landing sites, he added.
"We were in Busia County to launch the construction of the Mulukoba landing site. We have worked on the Luanda Kotieno landing site. Next we will build landing sites in Asat, Wichlum and others," he said.