Promoting fisheries in East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda announce new plans
Three East Africa countries have separately announced new plans that would enable them to reap from the fisheries and aquaculture of Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean, as they presented their 2019-2020 financial year budgets concurrently.
The plans by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda – all members of the East African Community, a six-member inter-governmental organization in the African Great Lakes region – include rehabilitation of fishing landing sites along the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria, removal of fishing factory inspection levies, and construction of new processing plants. The plans were presented as the three countries continued to report declining stocks of Nile perch as well as plummeting tilapia volumes.
Kenya, which produced 148,300 metric tons of fish in 2018 – 66 percent of which from Lake Victoria, and 4.1 percent from the marine fish sector – has announced setting aside USD 8 million (EUR 7.08 million) for the rehabilitation of five fishing land sites in its waters along the Indian Ocean and another five around Lake Victoria, according to a budget statement by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich last week.
Last November, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the country’s state agencies of the National Land Commission and the Department of Fisheries “to ensure that all fish landing sites at the Coast, at Lake Victoria, [and] other areas across the country are recovered [and] secured by the end of the first quarter of 2019.”
Landlocked Uganda has also set aside USD 5 million (EUR 4.4 million) for the Fisheries Resources Department for the 2019/2020 financial year. Part of the money will be utilized for the development of four fish processing factories, with a combined output of 330 tons per day, according to the country’s Finance, Planning, and Economic Development Minister Matia Kasaija.
In Tanzania, the government has abolished the mandatory USD 8,900 (EUR 7,882) to USD 11,000 (EUR 9,742) inspection fee for all fish processing factories to “create a friendly business and investment environment in order to stimulate compliance and to increase customer base,” according to the country’s Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango.
However, a previous report by the EAC secretariat observed that aquaculture in the East African region “has not developed its potential and accounts for only 7-8 [percent] regional fish consumption.”
Photo courtesy Kenya Agribusiness and AgroIndustry Alliance