310,832 ha-1 yr-1. Farmers also concluded that increasing the sizes of their ponds would contribute to increases in production.
Of the total 28 ponds stocked in Western and Rift Valley provinces, two ponds had dried up during the course of the trial and were eliminated from the list. Only one pond had gross annualized production of less than
5 t ha-1 yr-1. The overall average was
7.8 t ha-1yr-1. Fish yield from this trial was 224 to 873 percent higher compared to the reported yields for the year preceding the trial. The average increase was 480 percent. Net annualized revenue (not counting fingerling costs) averaged KSh 494,000 ha-1 yr-1, which is higher than for Central or Eastern provinces. Pond records showed that 80 percent of the fish ponds netted over KSh 250,000 ha-1 yr-1.
When fingerling costs are included, average net annualized revenue was KSh 438,000 ha-1 yr-1. Most western region ponds were in warmer areas compared to Central Province. Four of the districts reported afternoon water temperatures of 28oC, whereas only one of the districts in Central (Kirinyaga) province had such warm water. Several farmers noted that sugarcanečthe main cash crop in the regiončnets them less than one-tenth this amount and has a growing cycle of 26 to 30 months.
Despite farmers having paid little attention to keeping records on expenditures in previous years, they claimed an enormous increase in net revenues, as many of them had never made any money from their fish ponds before. One farmer who did keep financial records had a six-fold increase in net revenues from his two ponds. After talking with other farmers and researchers during the post-trial meeting, farmers quickly realized that they could have used cheaper ingredients and improved their results. The cost of inputs per kilogram of fish yield was very instructive. The highest input costs resulted from the use of dairy meal as the main
feed ingredient. Dairy meal contains about the same amount of protein as wheat bran but costs twice as much. In previous aquaculture projects, use of dairy meal had been a prominent extension recommendation. Cost of feed and fertilizer averaged KSh 22 per kg of fish yield, reflecting cheaper prices for inputs. Because there were few examples of low and medium management intensity, it is difficult to draw conclusions. However, it is clear that spending more can actually result in greater net revenues, not just higher fish yields.
Although clarias monoculture resulted in the greatest fish yields, it brought in relatively low net revenues. Tilapia monoculture resulted in lower gross annualized yields but higher net revenue than clarias monoculture. The best overall performance was was achieved where tilapia and clarias were stocked together. Farmers who practiced partial harvests had greater fish yields and higher net revenues than those who harvested all at once. It is possible, however, that the farmers who practice partial harvests are more experienced managers, as suggested by the high management level of all ponds in the partial harvest option. All of the low and medium management ponds fell under the total harvest category. The partial harvest option (followed by draining) should be considered and tested by researchers when designing their experiments and promoted by the extension service.
Increased tilapia-catfish production will require that all nutritional requirements be met by the ration fed to fish. A combination of on-farm inputs, together with a fertilization regime, can be used at reduced cost to intensify yields. In addition, development of a cost-effective fish feed may increase profitability of fish farming in the region and stimulate commercial aquaculture enterprises. A general lack of business planning advice for fish farming in Kenya makes it difficult for investors to plan for a fish farm as an enterprise. Sample enterprise budgets for commercial-scale fish farms allow banks to make decisions on lending.
Farmers, extensionists, and researchers learned a number of lessons about technology dissemination, adoption, and development of small-scale enterprises in both regions of Kenya. The study showed that with better management, farmers' production could increase by over 300%. It was also observed that frequent visitation increased farmers' confidence and stimulated intensified management. Most farmers, irrespective of the region, expressed satisfaction with the technology and were in favor of expanding operations. They also expressed their desire to continue farming fish using the most economic feeds for better and higher returns. Farmers recommended that problems of credit non-availability and inadequate supply of fingerlings be given priority in future efforts.
Farming in Kenya
...from p. 6
Jimmy Nabwera's expansion effort has included construction of a small hatchery facility, which he uses to spawn African catfish. Participants in a CRSP-sponsored training course are being shown NabweraÕs hatchery and spawning procedures during a field trip in May 2003.