FISH FARMING (AQUACULTURE)

240px-Fresh_tilapia

Fish Farming
A Fish Harvest

Kenya’s government has started an ambitious project to promote fish farming in the country. The Ministry of Fisheries Development has started construction of 200 fish ponds in 140 constituencies. Fish farming has been identified as a potential source of income and job creation for the population. This is a viable business that you can benefit from.

  • Capital
Fish farming is a relatively inexpensive to set up for those entrepreneurs who have a piece of land to spare. In Kenya, the most common form of rearing fish in open fish ponds which are dug on the ground. A polythene layer is then applied to aid in water retention and a little soil is placed on the bed with plankton seeds before water is poured in. The main costs include, labor, purchasing polythene, fingerlings and feeds. However you can keep fish in concrete, plastic or fiber glass tanks. Farming fish in tanks is usually more expensive and might require a higher amount of capital outlay. 
  • Knowledge Required
Open Ponds
The African Catfish
Tilapia is the main species of fish that is farmed in Kenya. There is also the African cat fish that is farmed with tilapia. You need to know the right water conditions for breeding of both species. Water quality is an essential element in aquaculture and that can affect the yields. You also need to know the right type of feeds, how to avoid diseases. It takes about 6 – 9 months for the fish to mature. 
  • Value Addition

Some of the ways of adding value being include production of fish meal, canning, fingerling production and rearing of ornamental fish which are kept in aquariums.

  • Challenges
Over breeding can lead to stunted growth in ponds.   To overcome the problem resulting from prolific breeding of tilapia, ponds are stocked with males only (mono sex culture) because the males grow almost twice as fast as females. Male fingerlings can be obtained by three methods: hybridization,sex-reversal and manual sexing.
  • Growth potential
Additionally, as a result of growth in this industry, the demand for quality fingerlings has shot up from one million to 28 million in less than a year, and is expected to peak at 100 million soon which the department of fisheries is unable to cope with. Also there is a demand for more than 14,000 tonnes of fish feed. If you can specialize in these two fields, you will have unlimited growth in the next few years.
Tilapia
  • Market
Income potential is great for fish farming. In major towns like Nairobi, a kilo of fish fillet costs about Sh350 which is more expensive than other available types of meat. A whole Tilapia costs between Sh250 and Sh320 per kilo. Proximity to the market is very important because fish has a very short shelf life. Refrigeration facilities are very helpful in preserving the fish so that you can sell beyond your locality. 
  • Ornamental Fish Culture
 Ornamental fish production is also gaining interest and several producers are engaged in the production of gold fish and koi carp among other ornamental species. There are only a handful of ornamental fish producers in Kenya. There are great opportunities in ornamental fish culture for they can be marketed within the EA region and also in Europe.

Other Businesses in Agriculture:

  1. Poultry farming
  2. Dairy farming
  3. Jatropha farming
  4. Mushroom farming
  5. Fish farming
  6. Organic farming
  7. Yoghurt Making
  8. Green house farming
  9. Garden/potted plants
  10. Rabbit farming
  11. Pig Farming