Sagana Fish Farm
by D. Liti and J. Munguti
Moi University and Sagana Fish Farm, Kenya
mprovement of Sagana Fish Farm has been at the center of aquaculture development in Kenya since 1993. Rehabilitation of the farm started then, under the sponsorship of a project funded by the Belgian Government. Renovation of old ponds as well as construction of new ones took place through 1996. In 1997, the PD/A CRSP project was initiated at Sagana. Farm operations under both projects were partly funded by the Government of Kenya. Sagana now has 109 ponds, 65 ponds of which were constructed specifically for research purposes, with the balance being used for spawning, fingerling production, and growout of fish.
The Farm as a Training Center
The Sagana Feed Mill
Photo By: Mwangi Mbugua
Sagana is a busy station characterized by many visits from farmers, government officers, students from primary, secondary, and university institutions, and local as well as international scientists. Last year Sagana hosted Jonathan Munguti, a Kenyan, and Richard Nyamwihura, a Tanzanian, for four months during their M.S. research periods. Both were participating in an international academic program in limnology and wetland ecosystems, and their stay was sponsored and Austrian Academy of Sciences and The Netherlands International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering. Collaborating East African host institutions were Egerton and Moi Universities in Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda, and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Sagana played a key role in this program as a site for the research, as well as providing guidance to the students.
Support to the Community
Since the late 1990s, Sagana has emerged as a center of excellence in aquaculture, not only in Kenya but also throughout East and Central Africa. Research activities have contributed a great deal in providing farmers with quality seeds, knowledge about fish feeds, and advice on the economic use of fertilizers and fertilization rates. These, together with provision of quality protein, have played a key role in uplifting the living standards of the local people. Protein malnutrition, mainly among children, has been reduced to a great extent. The farm is also a source of inspiration to those farmers who wanted to venture in small-scale commercial fish farming. The introduction of communal fish farming, mainly by women groups in the Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya, has immensely improved their income. Public awareness and change of attitudes towards fish farming and fish consumption, especially to those communities living away from capture fishery areas, and which previously did not appreciate fish farming, have successfully been achieved. This has been done through extension services and frequent organization of field days.