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Uhuru Kenyatta and the Politics of Fish – Part I

Data held by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) indicates that fish consumption in Kenya stands at 800,000 metric tons while production stands at less than 300,000 metric tons. With such a massive deficit in an industry that is largely unregulated, it is understandable how we have ended up with a lucrative - often black - fish import market including from China. And so the President of Kenya walks to Strathmore University and bans importation of fish without any concrete strategy on how to plug the deficit. People - idiotic as usual - clap for their President and go home. Here is the thing, fish production in Kenya is extremely underdeveloped. In a littoral country with a coast line stretching approx 1,500 Kilometers, home to many fresh water lakes and sharing Lake Victoria which is the world's largest fresh water lake and with the kind of climate that the country has, Kenya should be one of the leading producers of fish. Tapping into this potential to develop a vibrant fish industry is a policy area that we ought to hear the President pronounce himself on! How to protect and enhance the over 500,000 Kenyans directly working on fish industry, for instance transforming fishmongery into sustainable business, should be the focus of the President not uninformed ban on fish import. The ban will only mean a bigger black market for fish in Kenya (because the demand remains undressed anyway) and probably a take over by the rich. Which will push the fishmongers off the market hence enhancing as opposed to diminishing poverty levels.

Uhuru Kenyatta and the Politics of Fish – Part I Uhuru Kenyatta and the Politics of Fish – Part I Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on November 05, 2018 Rating: 5

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