Government to align blue economy objectives – Kenya News Agency

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In partnership with the World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD), the government will create projects to increase and improve incomes of aquaculture households.

This follows the commitment the government made to provide cooling storage systems, put Beach Management Units (BMUs) into SACCOs and Cooperatives and landing sites to ease fishermen’s management and access funding from financial institutions.

Speaking during the consultative meeting between the Blue Economy Committee of the Council of Governors and Development Partners in the Sector held at Voyager Beach Resort, Busia Governor, Paul Nyongesa Otuoma, who is also the County Executive Committee Member (CECM), Water, Irrigation and Natural Resources said that the meeting’s goal is to work on aligning the sector’s objectives to ensure teamwork towards achieving the goal of value addition.

“We are working together to ensure the resources we are receiving are utilized to achieve the socio-economic well-being of the citizens as far as the blue economy is concerned,” said Otuoma.

He stated that fishermen need to have better landing areas, and Beach Management Units (BMUs) should be converted into SACCOS in order to become investment groups.

Otuoma stated that the sector is focusing its efforts on two major initiatives, which will be supported by the development partners: the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio Economic Development project (KEMFSED), and the Aquaculture Business Development Programme.

KEMFSED, a Government of Kenya-funded project, aims to improve management of priority fisheries and Mariculture and increase access for coastal communities to other livelihood activities.

This development target aims to tap on huge resources in Blue Space and contribute towards the development of the sector.

Salim Mvurya was the Cabinet Secretary for Mining and Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs. He pledged to officially launch the cooling storage containers for the BMUs in the coastal counties.

“We have programmes in Aquaculture that integrate research and implementation; Kabonyo Kanyagual will be implemented by the Government of Kenya in collaboration with the Government of Hungary which will provide 7 million fingerlings to the counties participating in the aquaculture activities”, said Mvurya.

According to the CS, marine fisheries could create at least 60,000 jobs direct and 180,000 indirect jobs over the next five-years. To achieve this, more investments are needed in fishing, value added, and Mariculture.

The chairman of Blue Economy who is also the Governor to Lamu County, Issa Timamy promised that they shall eradicate the stereotypical culture of fishermen living a hand to mouth life and make their lives better.

Timamy stated that the sector was a priority for the counties, noting that it already supports approximately 2 million people indirectly as fishermen, traders and processors, input suppliers, and providers of related services.

“As we sail towards a sustainable blue economy, this meeting is a prime opportunity for all of us to gather our collective efforts and capitalize on the opportunities that exist within the Blue Economy in our country and beyond for the benefit of our people and future generations”, Timamy concluded.

By Fatuma Said

Source: kenyanews

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