By Cheki Abuje
Experts in the fish sub-sector are now urging farmers to embrace value addition of their products so as to maximise on their income as a result of development of diversified products for the market.
Speaking to Aquaculture farmers in Nakuru during a sensitization training workshop, the experts from Kenya Marin and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI) and ministry of agriculture fisheries department challenged farmers to extensively venture into value addition business to boost their livelihood.
Ms Domitila Kyule, a research Scientist from KeMFRI, based in Sagana, told Africa Science News that value addition gives the consumer the freedom of choice for the preferred product, adding that this improves taste, nutritional value and attractiveness of the product.
The experts call come in the wake of the government of Kenya through the ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries is encouraging farmers to direct their focus on value addition of their products instead of selling raw form products, which do not yield much profit.
The training was sponsored by European Union (EU) with aim of capacity building aquaculture farmers to produce quality pond fish besides understanding Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary/Technical Barriers in trade regulations for the readily available EU market.
However, a number of farmers from western region of Kenya are already penetrated into value addition for their pond fish by packaging fillets for both local and regional market as they wait European Union market node for Pond fish from Kenya.
Ms Domitila said Some of the value added products from fish include; fish sausages, fish galetin, Bon meal, tilapia samosas and fish oil. Others are fish skewers and fish soup.
The European Union is solely sponsoring a programme in Kenya to train, sensitize and capacity build farmers in various agricultural food value chains namely Aquaculture, Horticulture and Dairy farming among other chains.
The program is organised and implemented by United Nation Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) under Standards and Market Access Program (SMAP) in collaboration with Fresh Produce Export Association of Kenya, Aquaculture Association of Kenya, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Directorate of Veterinary Services to ensure SPS/ TBT regulatory measures are adhered to.