At the producer level, there are two ways one can engage in fish agribusiness; one is by keeping fish in ponds and second is by fishing from water bodies like oceans, lakes and rivers.
In the former, a farmer has control of what he keeps and harvests as he chooses the fingerlings to stocks and he feeds the fish, while in the latter, he depends on what he gets from the water bodies.
Three major types of fish are kept in ponds, these are tilapia, catfish and trout while from the water bodies, fishers catch depends on the resources.
From lakes like Naivasha and Victoria, fishers harvest tilapia, catfish, nile perch, mudfish and common carp while from the ocean,tuna and red snapper.
Whether you are a farmer, a fisher, a trader or you add value to fish, you must have interest in the business to succeed. While some people engage in one or two value chain activities like keeping the fish or fishing and adding value, specialisation helps.
To keep fish, quality fingerlings are key therefore one must buy the products from genuine suppliers, who include government facilities like Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.Buy fingerlings that are active, are feeding well and be of good size, which shows they are healthy.
There are several ways one can add value to fish, but it all starts with cleaning. Fish should becleaned as soon as it is out of the water. Keep it wet until the scales are removed (descaling). Then remove internal organs like guts and gills and wash thoroughly and let it dry.
Below are the ways one can add value to fish:
You will require the dried, clean fish, oil, salt, pan for frying, oil and source of heat. Salt the fish as you also heat oil in a pan. Later, gently lower salted fish in the pan and let fry until it turns golden brown.
You can deep fry tilapia, catfish, trout and common carp fish, among others. Deep fried fish earns your more than raw produce.
The process of filleting similarly starts with cleaning. The fish can be deep fried fish and then filleted or can be filleted raw. Filleting involves removing all the bones using a special machine. Through this process, one earns more since they sell the fish meat as well as the bones, which are used in fertiliser making as they are good source of calcium.
This is mainly done at eateries or hotels after obtaining clean fish. Fry onions in a cooking pot and add tomatoes, coriander and salt to taste.Add the fish pieces and let it simmer and serve with ugali. While the cooking methods slightly differ, the same ingredients are also used when it comes to making fish stew and soup.
Several youth groups across the country are currently engaging in fish agribusiness in various sectors of the value chain courtesy of Vijabiz project, which was funded and implemented by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), USTADI Foundation (Kenya) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The projects are changing lives of the youths as they train on how earn more from the produce.