Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) says iy will set up a Sh1billion National Riverine Aquaculture Research and Training Centre in Tharaka Nithi County.
Meant to expand Kenya’s fish capacity as well as enrich Mount Kenya region with knowledge on fisheries, the centre will be established in phases, at Mutonga area where Tharaka Nithi County has offered a 10-acre-piece of land for the project.
“We are doing it in phases. In the first phase we will spend around Sh 20 million and later we project something like Sh 1 billion.
But the government or donors have to chip in because we don’t have that kind of money,” said Kmfri Director General James Njiru.
Njiri was speaking at the Kmfri headquarters in Mombasa on the sidelines of Tharaka Nithi County Assembly Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries committee working tour to the institute.
The DG said the country has a deficit of 400,000 metric tons of fish, a position they seek to turnaround by promoting fish farming in areas like Mount Kenya region which have a high potential for fishing despite being known for just coffee and tea.
Fish deficit “We are keen to increase the amount of fish caught in this country.
We have a deficit of 400,000 metric tonnes of fish and the only place we can get this fish from most likely is from fish farming and this is why we want to empower farmers through such centres,” Njiru said.
The centre will incorporate a fish hatchery, wet and dry laboratory, training resource centre, administration block, accommodation, museum and a nature trail.