Cold Trout Fish Farming
About the Implementing organization
Name: Jitunze Environmental Group
Year of establishment: 2008
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Community enterprise or business
Among the available natural resources, water excellent for trout farming is abundant in the mountainous and highland regions like Nyeri. However, instead of being produced locally, the highly valued trout is often imported. Therefore, the utilization of available water resources for trout production is an obvious possibility for both increasing employment opportunities and generating income. Trout fish demand in Kenya supersedes its supply. Trout fish enterprise remains highly rated as a market driven initiative in Kenya. This reason coupled with the scarcity of the potential rearing sites requires a coordinated trout fish production system.
The uniqueness of the cold trout fish farming is in its growth requirements, which are very specific. The water must be maintained at 13 degrees centigrade for breeding, should be clear with no form of any contamination. Trout fish does not breed in captivity. It entails the farmer to sort the ripe (ready) female fish and by pressing gently its stomach, extracts eggs into a bowl where the male milt (sperms) is spread over them for external fertilization. The fertilized eggs are then incubated into a hatchery. Further, the water used in the fish farm runs back to the river for reuse, therefore mitigating water use conflict between the upstream and downstream communities.
Forests / Rivers
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Climate action
JEG promotes fish farming which involves the breeding of cold trout fish and this in itself enhances and protects the ever diminishing biodiversity. This kind of fish survives in a special environment that requires continuous flow of clean water. It aims to plant 100,000 trees in Mt. Kenya region. The initiative offers an adaptive solution to the already evident climate change impacts; low river water flow and deforestation. 100% of the water used is returnable to the river for reuse, reducing conflicts between the upstream and downstream communities. Trout fish farming is known to be dependent on a well-functioning hydro-logical system, which in turn depends on a healthy forest ecosystem. This has entailed the local communities rehabilitating the degraded forests leading to increased forest cover. Assorted tree planting has been going on (100ha in 2016) upstream which instead increases net forest cover and make Kenya’s forests a net sink of CO2.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The group’s project activities are anticipated to have multiple benefits to the community geared towards sustainable development. With a purpose to increase the adoption of trout fish farming in Mt. Kenya region, the group specifically targets to;
Increase both direct and indirect employment opportunities through a multiplier effect in engaging Business Delivery Service Providers through the trout fish value chain.
Increase the number of trained community members (individuals and organized groups) who visit the fish farm from 2000 to 3000 annually.
Promote food security and improved nutrition in the area. Fish is deemed very nutritious.
Currently, the group has 101 direct beneficiaries. Through, employment opportunities and revenues earned, training and other social undertakings, it has facilitated financially empowered households. It has 6 salaried personnel and on average employs 15 casuals on a monthly basis.
Cold trout fish farming has a high market demand and lucrative revenues which provide an adaptive alternative livelihood for the locals. It remains highly rated as a market driven initiative in Kenya forming the basis as a breeding ground for a medium sized industry, a prolific source of wealth and employment opportunities contributing into the realization of the vision 2030 and the taxes injected to the economy. Further, trout fish contributes directly to the nutrition and food security of the country. Demand currently stands at 10 tons per month against the available supply of less than 1%. The current trout fish production potential is 5 tons a year but the group aims at 40 tons. The scaling up of the enterprise will be two pronged: (i) up scaling of the existing JEG trout farm and (ii) stimulating increased investment in trout farming by other community groups by promoting trout farming as a viable enterprise, opening up markets, availing inputs & linkages to expertise.
Cold trout fish farming has great potential to thrive in Kenya. Whilst Kenya's land mass is 80% Arid Semi Arid, the nation is blessed with natural resources in terms of forests and water resources especially in highland regions. This provides an opportunity for the replicability of this project. The group has also recruited 5 outgrower fish farming groups in Nyeri who supplement the supply of the fish to the farm in order to meet the ever growing demand. The group is in the process of recruiting 10 other groups who will be introduced to venture into this practice. The group offers training on successful breeding and rearing of cold trout fish. As among the pioneering groups to venture into this fish farming in Kenya, the group has gathered necessary knowledge through experience. The necessary equipment for this venture is locally available hence making it even more attractive to farmers willing to adopt it.
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