Kenya announces USD 98 million in new financing for fisheries sector
Kenya has announced KES 10.7 billion (USD 98 million, EUR 83 million) in new financing to revamp the country’s fish production levels and improve seafood exports over the next year.
Treasury Cabinet Secretry Ukur Yatani has indicated in his 2021-2022 budget statement projects targeted in the new funding allocation include the Aquaculture Business Development and the Kenya Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development projects, which are being co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and International Development Association (IDA), respectively.
Yatani said the 2021-2022 fisheries sector allocation targets at least eight different fisheries projects the government considers critical in scaling up exports and raising incomes of fishing communities.
However, completion of one of the key projects, the KES 1 billion (USD 9 million, EUR 7.7 million) Liwatoni Fishing Complex project – though mentioned in the Yatani’s statement and whose redevelopment had previously been approved by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta – has since been engulfed in corruption allegations, with Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, which gathers information on graft in public institutions. The allegations have halted completion of the project until they are fully investigated.
The Kenya Aquaculture Business Development project, which has been allocated KES 3.2 billion (USD 29.4 million, EUR 24.7 million) for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, has already received a USD 67.9 million (EUR 57 million) funding commitment from IDA.
The project, to be implemented in various selected locations across the country, focuses on the improvement of “management of priority fisheries and mariculture and increase access to complementary livelihood activities in coastal communities.”
Yatani also said the government will, in the next year, provide KES 3.4 billion (USD 31.2 million, EUR 26.2 million) for the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development project. The project has also received USD 100 million (EUR 84 million) in funding from the World Bank.
The Kenyan government plans to spend KES 1 billion (EUR 7.7 million, USD 9 million) in the development of a second fish processing plant in Lamu Island, where a smaller similar facility valued at KES 16 million (EUR 123,750, USD 147,190) was constructed by the Lamu County government.
Other projects earmarked for funding during the 2021/2022 fiscal year include exploration of living resources under the blue economy strategy, revamping of coastal fisheries infrastructure, rehabilitating and re-developing fishing landing sites in Lake Victoria, and the aquaculture technology development and innovation transfer program.
Photo courtesy of Kenya's Ministry of National Coordination