A Sh60 million factory in Tetu Sub-county in Nyeri is smarting from its losses with an average of four fish received and processed though its daily capacity is two tonnes.
The factory run by the Nyeri County government, was commissioned in February this year and was expecting to receive and process two tonnes of fish per day. However, the factory has only received and processed 758 kilogrammes of fish from farmers since its commissioning.
County officials are citing limited stocks for the dismal performance and the factory has now resorted to selling the fish due to lack of the raw material.
The factory was constructed to enhance fish farming in the Mt Kenya region.
“We are operating under capacity due to the low quantity of fish we receive,” Agriculture executive Robert Thuo said.
County officials had hoped that farmers would embrace fish farming which was introduced through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in the 2009/10 financial year.
Farmers at the time received about 1,000 fingerlings ,free feeds and even ponds were built and stocked in a project that lasted six months.
After training they were expected to move to the next stages on their own.
During the official opening of the Central region Agriculture show in Nyeri, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked residents to take up fish farming and utilize the factory.
“I am urging the farmers to make good use of the processing facility which is currently operating under capacity due to low fish production,” he said.