fishponds

Musyimi on a day out on his farm

Machakos County in Kenya is popularly known for its long spells of drought. I remember when we were in schools we used to make jokes about students from the county that rain was a tourist attraction to them. For a fact, some children about ten years have never seen rain in their lifetime. Given this, it would have been unthinkable for someone to imagine himself being a fish farmer but this is what the Musyimi did. Yes, Musyimi dreamt and he’s now a fish farmer in Machakos.    

Curious to find out how he is doing with fish farming in the land of water scarcity, I visited his farm to catch a glimpse of his fish pond. He explained to me that fish does not have to be in high rainfall areas. With technology, it can be done even in Machakos. This can be made possible by lining the fish pond’s floor with a polythene paper to prevent water from percolating into the ground.  

According to Musyimi, fish farming is demanding at its initial stages but after six months, the benefits are massive. On his two acre piece of land, he has four fish ponds which he manages full-time being his sole environment. In one harvesting season, he approximates his harvest to be worth 200,000 Kenya shillings per pond which is approximately 800,000 Kenya shillings. This calculated, it means in a year he makes 1600,000 shillings (16,000USD) from the ponds.

To Musyimi, he has managed to engage in vegetable farming due to the presence of the fish pond. Vegetables do well on the sides of the pond. He also said that feeding the fish is never a big problem for him – he usually feeds them on the food leftovers from his kitchen and wastes from the poultry hatch.

If Musyimi is doing it in such a hostile environment, why not you who is in a place endowed with plenty of rain? Fish farming is a viable business venture.

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