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KES 30 million boost for Mombasa fishermen

23 June 2015, 15:03 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - The fishing sector in Mombasa County is set to receive a mega economic boost, through a  KES 30 million investment made by KCB Foundation to support deep sea fishing activities as the region’s economic potential remains unexploited.

Coast’s fishing sector has been lagging behind as a result of lack of good political will despite the region boasting of readily available resources.

The investment will be given to Beach Management Units (BMUs) in form of interest-free loans payable within two years, to facilitate the purchase of two ultramodern deep sea fishing vessels which will improve fishing activities in the County.

This initiative is part of the KCB Foundation Mifugo ni Mali programme that will see livestock farmers from ASAL counties in Kenya benefit from the commercialization of the livestock sector and ensure farmers reap maximum benefits from their produce.

Beach Management units (BMU’s) from Kwale and Mombasa counties had raised a red flag over the deteriorating fishing sector in the regions, warning that the sector on the verge of collapsing if both the County government and the ministry of fisheries do not intervene to offer technical and financial support to the local fishing groups.

Read Also: Kenyan fishermen embrace ponds as fish dwindles in lake

Speaking during a training session for Mombasa County Beach Management Unit (BMU) leaders on credit preparedness and insurance, KCB Foundation manager Rachel Gathoni stated that the Foundation was keen to improve the fishing sector in order to make it a commercial entity that would increase wealth and reduce poverty amongst fish farmers in the coast region.

“With a blend of proper training and the interest-free loans, farmers will efficiently and effectively transform the subsistence farming to agribusiness,” Rachel added.

Since 2012, the industry's output of fish in Kenya was approximately 167 700 metric tons earning the country approximately KES 15 billion, with fish exports accounting for 3.7% of the GDP.

“With the new vessels, the quantity and quality of fish will increase, leading to an increase in fish export to Europe,” stated Hon. Anthony Njaramba, Mombasa County Executive Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

He also added that Europe is the preferred market for fishery exports from Kenya because of its relative proximity and accessibility, which allows for greater profit margins.

“The fish sector has a high potential of reducing extreme poverty in the coastal region and creating job opportunities if fully commercialized,” said Rachel.

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