County empowers fish traders at Top Market, Nakuru Town East Sub-county
Written by Mercy Kihugu
A fish traders group at Top Market has benefitted from an ice flake-making machine from the County Government of Nakuru through the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme II (ASDSP).
The Nakuru Fish (Rech) group has been able to increase the number of procured fish stocks to 1200 kg per day valued at Ksh 360,000 from the previous 1000 Kg/day valued at Kshs. 300,000 due to the availability of ice flakes used for storage.
This has led to a reduction of post-production losses of 50kgs of fish per day valued at Ksh 15,000.
The group has been earning an income from the sale of ice flakes to group members and other consumers valued at Ksh 1200 per day. The group is pooling its savings to buy a new fish freezer which will help in the storage of excess ice flakes from the machine.
Ice flake-making machine has a 300 kg ice-making capacity and 150 kg storage capacity with a 1000 litre tank for water storage.
Agriculture Chief Officer Newton Mwaura appreciated the impact of the machine on the group after receiving the machine two months ago especially in the handling of fish since cooling the catch immediately is a key factor in maintaining quality and prolonging shelf life.
Mwaura added that the county is committed to ensuring the implementation of sustainable projects in the county to avoid wastage of public resources by having community-driven projects.
He further encouraged farmers to join groups and cooperatives to enjoy maximum support as the government is moving the cooperative movement way.
Ice flakes are important as they have a lower meltwater volume producing less water runoff and reducing the chances of the fish being submerged in water. This reduces the risk of water contamination and helps maintain the fish’s quality.
More than 12,000 individual farmers and 133 farmer groups within the Dairy, Pyrethrum, and Aquaculture value chains in the county have benefitted under the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme II (ASDSP).
The programme is being implemented in all eleven sub-counties and seeks to develop sustainability within the three value chains for improved income, employment, food, and nutrition security.
Additionally, it further promotes increased productivity, strengthens entrepreneurial skills among the value chain actors, improves access to the market, and strengthens structures and capacities for coordination in the agricultural sector.