KENYA – Two women-led aquaculture companies in Kenya, Rio Fish and Great Lakes Feeds, have received grants totaling KES 56,000,000 (US$384,000) each from the Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK) program.

The initiative, funded by Global Affairs Canada and managed by the African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), aims to empower women and address gender disparities in Kenya’s blue economy.

The grants are part of a broader effort targeting 110 women-owned enterprises across various sectors within the blue economy to foster job creation and entrepreneurial success.

Under the leadership of Angela Odero, CEO and co-founder of Rio Fish Limited, the company is committed to women’s empowerment and sustainability in aquaculture.

Rio Fish focuses on ending the exploitative sex-for-fish trade in Kenya, empowering women traders in the fish supply chain.

The company operates aggregation centers, procuring fish directly from smallholder farmers, and provides value-added fish products.

With the grant, Rio Fish plans to offer seed capital and training to women and young women, aggregate fish produced by smallholder farmers, and provide comprehensive training in fish husbandry, financial management, and business operations.

Founded by Mathildah Amollo, Great Lakes Feeds is dedicated to addressing challenges faced by women in aquaculture, including the lack of affordable, quality fish feeds and fingerlings.

The company produces fish feeds using locally available resources and provides training programs covering aquaculture techniques, water quality, and business dimensions.

Amollo’s goal is to extend training to 2,000 women in Siaya County, providing them with fingerlings and feed for free.

The grant will be used to invest in crucial machinery, including a dryer, cooling conveyor, and feed packaging equipment, to enhance the feed mill’s efficiency.

Both Rio Fish and Great Lakes Feeds aim to leverage the support from the AECF program to expand their reach, deepen their impact, and contribute to women’s empowerment and community transformation in the aquaculture sector.

This initiative aligns with broader efforts to promote gender equality and economic participation in the blue economy, fostering sustainable development and job creation in Kenya.

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