Kenya building mariculture center to spur research in aquaculture

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Kenya said on Friday that it is building a modern mariculture center to promote research in aquaculture.

Micheni Ntiba, principal secretary for State Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy, said that mariculture research, development and training activities will be done at the center.

“The center will lead in the development of quality seeds and feeds as well as training for uptake of technologies by the farmers,” Ntiba told an aquaculture meeting in Nairobi.

He noted that private sector hatchery managers and fish feed producers will be trained at the center to spur investments in the area.

“The center will also seek to recruit new species and strains as candidates for aquaculture and efficient technologies,” he said, noting that the government targets to develop mariculture and diversification in the organisms being cultured.

The official observed that the government is currently supporting seaweed farming along the coastal Kenya where 450 farmers are engaged in the activity.

“We have supported the farmers with a processing machine to support value addition and increase income,” he added.

Ntiba revealed that besides mariculture development, Kenya is also introducing contract farming for crabs along the Indian Ocean.

Ntiba noted that the government has embarked on massive aquaculture to help meet the fish deficit that currently stands at 350,000 tons annually, which forces the government to import additional fish to bridge the deficit.

He said that Kenya can only stop the importation of fish once fish production is increased through the partnership with the private sector investment.

The official called on investors to come on board and invest in innovating new products that can be consumed by all populations.

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