Kenya has potential to produce fish says Koskei
26 February 2014, 20:30
Nairobi - The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Felix Koskei has said that the nation has a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) potential to produce 300 000 metric tonnes of fish worth KES 75 billion.
Koskei noted that lack of funds to finance a fish programme is a big challenge adding that the country requires donor funding to undertake its prioritised projects, such as strengthening the Monitoring Control and Surveillance. The need to establish Kenya fisheries services is set to cost KES 500 million and the procurement of the offshore patrol vessel at a cost of KES 3.2 billion.
“The Ministry is emphasizing on integrated projects that bring impact therefore we need to have clear programmes categorised as short term, medium and long term with clear coordination which is currently lacking,” said Koskei.
He added that other projects include the construction of the Lamu fish port to attract foreign fishing vessels, at a cost of KES 5.5 billion, the construction of a jetty and the establishment of a fisheries training institution to train investors in the sector. He also noted that the procurement of an offshore patrol vessel will deter illegal unreported and unregulated fishing which contributes to a loss of KES 10 billion.
“The construction and completion of fish referral laboratories in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa will reduce the costs for sending samples abroad,” said Koskei.
The Cabinet Secretary further said that the aquaculture potential in the country stands at 1.4 million hectares out of which only 2 percent is utilized, and noted that the ministry intends to increase production from the current 48,000 metric tonnes to 100,000 metric tonnes.
Koskei stated that the ministry aims at ensuring both regional and international market access for all its agricultural produce improves through the emphasis on value addition and adherence to the sanitary and economic standards.
He announced that the ministry has established a secretariat for the intergovernmental agricultural consultative forum to link the operations of the National Government with the Counties. Koskei also assured that the ministry will form a joint working team of partnerships comprising of technical and policy steering teams whose members will include donors and the ministerial high level management.
Koskei was speaking during the Donor Breakfast meeting with the Agriculture and Rural Development Donor Group.
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