Thursday 23. May 2013

Potential of Fish Farming in the Lake Victoria Region

On Friday, May 24 at 16:00, Nora Jacobi will present her master's thesis, titled Examining the Potential of Fish Farming to improve the Livelihoods of Farmers in the Surroundings of Lake Victoria, Kenya: Assessing Impacts of Governmental Support. The thesis advisor is dr. Benedict J. Colombi, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, and the external reader is Rodrigo Menafra, who taught ICZM at the CMM program from 2008 to 2010. Further information about the thesis can be found in its abstract below.

The presentation will be in English and will be given in room 1-2 at the University Centre.

Examining the Potential of Fish Farming to Improve the Livelihoods of Farmers in the Lake Victoria Region, Kenya - Assessing the Impacts of Governmental Support

In Kenya, East Africa, fish-demand is constantly growing. Fish supply, however, lags behind owing to declining natural fish stocks. Aquaculture production in Kenya is still insignificant on a global scale, not following the sector's worldwide rapid growth. However, Kenya shows great potential for aquaculture activities that are not yet fully explored. In 2009 development and commercialization of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) aquaculture became part of the government's Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), aiming to stimulate economic growth by creating business opportunities and jobs, as well as to alleviate food insecurity and poverty, two major problems in Kenya. Aquaculture production increased significantly. This study uses a structured questionnaire to elucidate the impacts of governmental support on the livelihoods of small-scale aquaculture farmers in the Nyanza and Western provinces, Kenya. Foci are (1) farm characteristics, (2) support mechanisms used, (3) fish farm wealth, (4) livelihood changes and (5) future perspectives of aquaculture. Livelihoods of ESP supported farmers improved in terms of protein consumption through incomes from aquaculture but pond productivities are low. ESP subsidies helped fish farmers in the short-term, i.e. through income generation and increased protein accessibility, but it failed to teach farmers how to achieve self-sustainable aquaculture without the help of subsidies. One way of achieving higher pond productivities is the promotion of sustainable and integrated aquaculture-agriculture farming practices. The risk is high that if pond productivities are not increased, aquaculture practices may be discontinued in the future with negative impacts on the farmers' livelihoods.