Kenya gets nod to export farm fish to European market

By: LUCAS BARASA

Kenya has received certification to export farm fish to the European Union, Fisheries Principal Secretary (PS) Micheni Ntiba has said.

He said the nod was given two weeks ago.

The PS, who spoke when he led a team from the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme in paying a courtesy call to Meru Governor Peter Munya, did not, however, provide details about the EU move.

Kenya has not been exporting fish from aquaculture because it was yet to put in place mechanism to certify the produce for export.

Last year, the country produced 46,000 tonnes of fish from farms. The government says the country exported 150,000 tonnes of fish in 2014.

Globally, 50 per cent of all fish consumed is from natural waters and the rest from fish farms. However, in Kenya aquaculture accounts for only 24 per cent of fish consumed.

The country’s output of fish from natural waters has remained stagnant due to overfishing. Most of Kenya’s produce is exported to the EU and Asia.

Prof Ntiba vouched for the promotion of aquaculture in the country. “The focus in the world is now aquaculture,” the PS said.

Mr Munya said his government had increased fish farming and that the county has more than 140 ponds.

He said Meru is also looking for investors to run a fish processing factory that it had established.

“We don’t want the county government to run it. We want support in looking for investors to run it,” Mr Munya said.

He said another fish processing factory is being established in Mikinduri in the county.

On dairy farming, the governor said his government had imported semen from Brazil to help improve local breeds of cattle.

“We are working with the University of Nairobi in the programme. We have trained artificial insemination officers who are helping to upgrade our livestock to produce more milk,” said Mr Munya.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION