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Fish Farms in City Backyards

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Fish Farms in City Backyards

Fish farming at Wangige in Kiambu County
Fish farming at Wangige in Kiambu County. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The fish fillet that you enjoy every so often in Nairobi could most probably be a catfish from one of our farms,” says Nick Chege, a 29-year-old who has embraced city farming.

The actuarial science graduate started Blue Aqua Fish Farm two years ago, a company that rears fish and also trains new farmers.

“We realised that farmers, especially in Nairobi and its environs, were interested in fish farming but lacked the know-how. The demand for fish was also rising since the traditional sources of fish were lakes that were far,” he says.

Nick partnered with Peter Kimacia, 27, who now has nine fish ponds with over 3,000 fish.

“It wasn’t hard for me to buy into fish farming. I used to fish in a river that was near our home, though it dried up,” says Peter who studied mechanical engineering.

They rear catfish and tilapia in Wangige, which they say are easy to farm in a basic fish pond, even in a backyard.

“Catfish is ideal for filleting as it does not have many bones. You can also have many of them in a small space. They are bigger and can grow to around one kilogramme when mature at about six to eight months,” explains Chege. On the other hand, tilapia weighs between 300 grammes to 400 grammes (a plate size), when mature after six to eight months.

Besides rearing fish, they also help city farmers set up ponds mostly on idle land, initially bought for speculation.

“Most of our clients own land in Konza, Emali and Machakos that they are not actively using. Interestingly, the hotter the area, the faster the fish grows. For instance, in Konza or Machakos they can mature in about six months while they could take about eight months in Nairobi,” says Chege.

Of late, he says, he has seen an increase in clients from Wangige and its environs.

“We train them on fish farming, help set up ponds, provide fingerlings from our hatcheries in Thika and Kiambu, and also grade the fish,” explains Peter.

Grading ensures that the fish are fed according to their weight and that the bigger fish do not eat the smaller fish.

“We visit the farmer and harvest a few fish, which we put into a bucket of water and it is weighed. This assists the farmer to know the correct size of pellets to feed the fish. Catfish grows at different rates and they are cannibals.

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Grading ensures the bigger fish are separated from the smaller fish to avoid them preying on them,” he explains.

Nick says when a farmer does not do grading, he might have stocked 1,000 fish only to harvest 100 humongous fish.

The source of water is very important. A farmer cannot use Nairobi city water as it contains too much chlorine, which is not good for the fish. Use water from boreholes or rain water.

To start a fish farm, one requires around Sh150,000 to Sh200,000 per pond, for an area of about 200 metres squared. However, as city fish farming picks up, most Kenyans are sceptical about growing foods in estates due to the uncertainty of its legality. Those with greenhouses, pigsties or rabbit hutches hide.

However, Makodingo Washington, a former chief officer of agriculture in Nairobi, says that it was illegal to do any farming related activities a few years ago, but not anymore.

“It is now legal and there is a new 2015 law {Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Act} that allows people to farm in Nairobi,” says Dr Makodingo.

But can one rear domestic animals in Karen? “Absolutely! You can keep goats in Karen and even in Kibera. In addition, the county is now keen on city gardening and it is encouraging multistorey gardens and fish farming,” he says.

He adds the county is actively supporting fish farming by offering free tanks to women and youth.

“The tanks are about one and a half meters in diameter, which have a capacity of about 300 fish. We also provide them with fingerlings and fish feed,” he says.

For those with extra space, fish farming is not complicated. The fish is feed once or twice a day.

“Catfish, for instance are nocturnal and the best time to feed them is early morning or late evening,” explains Peter.

A pond is about a metre deep after which a dam liner is put to hold the water. The liner should have plastic outlets to empty the water.

Put fresh water every two to four days because too much algae can poison the fish. Use the dirty water, which has algae and fish poop as organic manure.

“We no longer have to buy fertiliser for our crops as this water is rich enough,” says Peter.

Nick and Peter sell their fish to restaurants and fish mongers in Uthiru, Kangemi and Kiambu.

“We also announce in churches during harvesting period and the locals come and buy. I remember my first harvest was all bought by the locals,” says Peter who also sells ornamental fish, like goldfish.

Catfish goes for Sh350 to Sh400 per kilo while tilapia retails at about Sh450 per kilo.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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