Jointly, the partners of FoodTechAfrica developed a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) demonstration farm that is commercially viable for entrepreneurial farmers in Kenya.
Demand for fish production in Kenya
The demand for and production of fish in Kenya is quite high. In general, too little fish is available to serve the local market. A surprise, since Kenya borders Lake Victoria which has been a source of fish for the region for centuries and Kenya also has a coastal region. However, Lake Victoria’s fish output is declining sharply due to pollution, overfishing, and lack of regulation. The declining output is traditionally replaced by imported fish. However, Kenya and East Africa as a whole have excellent capabilities and conditions to produce local fish, for the local market when they have the right technology, inputs and knowledge available.
‘’Now the whole idea was scaling fish production in Africa, because we are doing ponds all over the country, but then you have a look at the statistics. We still have a deficit. That has resulted to having us importing fish. So, what you’re seeing here today is, it is just a look at the future.’’ John Eric Farm Manager
Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)
In 2017, a standalone Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) was especially developed by FoodTechAfrica partners Fishion, HollandAqua and Viqon for aquaculture in Africa. The fish farm system was launched under the name FisHub.
FisHub is designed to produce 100 x more fish in comparison to aquaculture in traditional ponds (125 kg/m3 annual production). The demonstration fish farm in Kiambu features 50% lower feed cost, 25% higher survival rates, 99% water usage reduction and excellent control over water quality and temperature conditions. FisHub is easily transportable and can be easily mounted.
RAS demonstration farm in Kiambu
The mission of this project was to demonstrate that RAS production systems are commercially viable investments that allow for efficient cultivation of fish at a high productivity levels. The RAS systems increase the ability of fish production for the local market in Kenya.
The project was co-funded by the Food Security department of the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi. The project was coordinated by Farm Africa and implemented in partnership with WorldFish Center, PUM Senior Advisors, Centre for Development Innovation (WUR), BoP Innovation Center and FoodTechAfrica.
FoodTechAfrica is an existing Dutch public private partnership that since 2011 has been working on the development of the aquaculture industry in East Africa, based on Dutch experience, knowledge and technology.