(L-R) H.E.Raila Amolo Odinga (Kenya), Danny Ayalon (Israel) and Dirk Niebel (Ger) welcoming the trilateral agreement. (Photo: mashav.mfa.gov.il)
Germany, Israel and Kenya to improve farmed tilapia value chain
Friday, September 07, 2012, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The governments of Kenya, Germany and Israel recently inked a trilateral cooperation agreement to improve the farmed tilapia value chain and improve wastewater treatment in Lake Victoria.
The initial phase of the capacity-building training programme will run until June 2014 and will involve every partner contributing in their area of expertise focusing on technical, organisational and capacity building factors.
To ensure the programme’s quality, a professional aquaculture training unit was established at the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technologies (RIAT) in Kisumu, Kenya.
In Kenya’s Lake Victoria, fish stocks are being depleted even as demand for fish, and tilapia in particular, continues to climb; prices have doubled over the past two years.
|Government Officials from the three countries sign the cooperation agreement. Front (L-R): Hon. Daniel Ayalon, Hon. Amason Kingi, Hon. Dirk Niebel, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga Standing (L-R): H.E Gil Haskel, H.E Margit Hell Wig-Botte, Hon. Margaret Kamar, H.E Ken Nyauncho. (Photo: www.embassies.gov.il)
“Lake Victoria has regional influence – it’s very important water-wise,” said Ilan Fluss, director of policy planning and external relations at the Israel Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), The Jerusalem Post reports. “Lake Victoria is a small lake that is three times the size of the State of Israel.”
Overall, this cooperation seeks to increase the income of fish farmers, eradicate poverty in the region and improve the Lake Victoria ecosystem. The idea is also to raise tilapia in fish farms to provide farmers with an alternative source of income and contribute to improve food security for Kenya.
So far, the cooperation has made the following achievements:
- A participatory farmed tilapia value chain analysis at the beginning of 2012;
- Trainings conducted at RIAT for 60 trainers and fish farmers;
- A fish farming training unit constructed at RIAT;
- Official launch of the project and signing of the trilateral agreement on 16 August.
RIAT is the main partner in demonstration and capacity building and already offers fisheries training at certificate level; it also plans to develop short courses in fish farming for farmers and extension agents.
|Some of the tilapia fish harvested. (Photo: www.embassies.gov.il)
For tilapia, the value chain shortfalls are the supply of inputs, the availability of quality feeds, pond management and marketing.
This will help “industrialize the region so Kenya as a country can have a better tilapia export industry with the technology Israel has,” said Ambassador Daniel Carmon, head of MASHAV. “Israel has a lot to offer with its experience.”
The approach usually starts not from supply but instead from market demand, which allows the entrepreneurs to visualize the other actors and facilitators who may influence their production processes in one way or another, and thus distinguish their valuable contributions, helping to remove barriers on the path to product development.
In this Trilateral Tilapia Cooperation Project, through their implementing agencies, the three governments will bring together their comparative advantages to increase the livelihoods of fish farmers in the region.
If successful, the team may conduct similar projects in Uganda and Tanzania, two countries which also share Lake Victoria.
By Natalia Real