Kenya marine business is set for a major boost following the launch of a new deep sea fishing vessel that is expected to substantially raise harvests and put Mombasa farmers on the global fisheries map.
The KCB Foundation in partnership with the County Government of Mombasa on Thursday launched the vessel christened MV Mombasa 001 which was locally constructed at a cost of Ksh 15 Million and is expected to increase fish harvest in the county to over 40,000 kilograms per month.
The Bank, through its social investment arm, the KCB Foundation (under the Mifugo Ni Mali program) financed the acquisition of the vessel following a zero percent interest rate loan of Ksh 30 Million extended to the County Government of Mombasa.
“This is a game-change for Kenya’s marine business. Kenya’s marine fisheries sector remains artisanal and subsistence due to the lack of large, fully equipped fishing vessels,” said General (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana, Board Director at the KCB Group.
“Investing in Kenya’s marine sector is strategic to the economic growth and this will encourage further investments along the fisheries value chain, thus creating a viable and sustainable industry” he said,
This is in response to the increased number of fish imports from China that grew from Ksh259 Million in 2013 to Ksh1Billion in 2015 according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
“Kenya is reputed to have some of the best deep-sea fishing spots in the world, and if these spots are exploited well, they can prove beneficial to our economy. The benefits of this deep sea fishing vessel are immeasurable, especially in light of the fact that this one vessel will help generate 10,000 jobs for the local youth,” said Catherine Kola, Chairman, KCB Foundation.
She added that the interest shown by foreign fishing vessels in Kenya’s offshore waters indicate that periodically, there are large stocks of pelagic species such as tuna and tuna-like species, signalling the need to expand fishing capacity in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
It is estimated that Kenya’s marine fishery sector has the potential to produce 150,000 –300,000 Metric tonnes of fish annually, but only 9,000 Metric tonnes was produced in 2015 as compared to countries like Somalia which produced 132,000 Metric Tonnes the same year.
Mombasa County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho stated that his government is committed to working with the private sector, to mobilize resources to help in scaling up economic activities in the County, in order to create enabling environments for local entrepreneurs to thrive.
He added that the Mombasa County Government would provide extension services, give technical support to the local fishermen and support breeding, nutrition, market access and related services to ensure the success of the fish value chain.
Atleast 4000 youth are poised to benefit directly benefit directly through the commissioning of the deep sea fishing vessel.
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