KENYA – Kenya’s Kisumu County government has established a fish cold storage facility at Jubilee fresh fish market built at a cost of Ksh10 million, a milestone achievement in the fishing sector aimed at cushioning fishmongers from post-harvest losses.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o while commissioning the facility, said it has a capacity of about five tonnes capable of accommodating fresh fish from the County and across the lake region, positioning Kisumu as a hub for blue economy and trade.

The unit is set to prevent fish traders from post-harvest losses by increasing the shelf life of the harvested fish, awaiting their market sales.

Initially, fishmongers faced huge losses as a result of the fish spoilage due to high temperatures and lack of a fish cold facility that ought to cushion them from unnecessary damages hence.

Establishment of the new facility has reduced the spoilage rate by 80 per cent, thereby, increasing the revenue stream.

The cold room, according to reports by Kenya News Agency, will handle different types of fish such as tilapia, Nile perch as well as mudfish and provide job opportunities to the locals for example technical managers, cleaners and transporters.

A committee whose membership is drawn from the Department of Environment, Water and City Management would oversee the running of the facility to make it sustainable.

Still in the lake region county, tomato growers are expected to reap big after the completion of a tomato processing plant in the area worth Ksh.20 million.

The Kochieng’ Tomato Processing Plant is intended to produce tomato juice, tomato paste and other by products that will be branded and supplied to local supermarkets.

Tomato is among the high-value crops planted post rice harvest in the vast Ahero, West Kano, and South West Kano irrigation schemes with 200Ha of land and over 11,000 farmers.

Other horticultural crops planted in the region include African vegetables, hot pepper and watermelon. At the onset the plant would focus on tomatoes and eventually expand to process more agricultural value-added products.

Meanwhile in Kiambu County, the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) has launched a milk processing plant in Lari Sub County.

This follows Gatamaiyu Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society receiving an Enterprise Development Grant totalling Ksh8,400,000 from NARIGP for upgrading of the dairy plant.

The renovation encompassed installation of a new 1000 litres per hour milk pasteurizer, a 1000 litres per hour high pressure homogenizer, a chiller, hot water boiler and an air compressor, doubling the dairy’s milk collection capacity from 5,700 litres to over 10,000 litres.

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