Josphat N. Gichure
Farmed fish value chain analysis with emphasis on value addition and traceability: case of Kirinyaga County in Kenya
Fish farming contributes to the attainment of food and nutritional security by providing high-quality fish proteins and micro and macro nutrients thereby minimizing hidden hunger. Fish supply in Kenya is mostly from capture fisheries, particularly fresh water lakes that contribute more than 90 per cent of the total fish produced. Agri-food supply chains involve the flow of products and information, and activities from production through to processing and consumption. Through value addition, at each stage, the value is increased along the chain. Traceability enhances tracking and tracing of fish and fish products information in the supply chains. A situational assessment was conducted along the farmed fish value chain in Kirinyaga County in Kenya in June and July 2013. The objective of the study was to assess traceability along the farmed fish value chain. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and data analysis was done using SPSS version 16 software. Most farmers stocked mixed sex tilapia in monoculture, which led to over-breeding and harvesting of small-sized fish, while the market demand was for table-sized fish. The high cost of inputs, especially feeds, increased the cost of production. Value addition was limited as most farmers did not have enough quantities of fish to facilitate value addition. Traceability was limited; only a few farmers kept operations records and most of them did not share production information with other stakeholders in the chain. The study recommends capacity building through training on value addition and traceability along the value chains.