Growing fish in greenhouses
Three companies have teamed up in Kenya to promote greenhouse fish farming. Fleuren & Nooijen from The Netherlands and Jambo Fish are providing free advice and technical support on how to take care of fingerlings and grow table-size fish, while Charles Gerald Kenya (a greenhouse company) is providing a demonstration site where smallscale farmers can learn about the technology.
By rearing fish in tanks, placed inside a greenhouse, the temperature of the water can be regulated to enhance growth. As a controlled environment, greenhouses also prevent predation and intrusion by other animals, enabling farmers to maintain higher levels of hygiene. Rich in nutrients, wastewater from fish farming can also be used to irrigate vegetables, an added bonus for farmers.
The project is also promoting catfish farming. Even though the majority of fish farmers in Kenya grow tilapia, Sharon Momanyi of Jambo Fish, explains that it is not necessarily the best variety. "The catfish is a healthier, stronger fish that grows very fast and so smallscale farmers will have few problems growing the fish," she says. It takes six months for a catfish to mature, by which stage it will weigh about 1 kilogramme. According to Jambo Fish it costs 200 Ksh (US$2.30) to grow 1kg of cat fish, which will then fetch about 300 Ksh (US$3.5) in the market. Jambo Fish are providing fingerlings to farmers for 10 Ksh (US$0.12) each.
Written by: Geoffrey Kamadi
Date published: January 2012
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