The Aquacultural Association of Kenya (AAK) established in 2007 is the national umbrella body for all fish farmers in Kenya. It focuses on issues affecting its members (20,000 to date and increasing) and also caters for the aquaculture industry at large. The association also serves as a link between fish farmers, the national and county governments, development partners, other farmer’s organizations and stakeholders within the aquaculture sub-sector.
Over the years AAK has been contributing to uplift the social and economic empowerment of fish farmers through increased income, improved standards of living, employment creation, awareness and encouraging the participation of both youth and women in fish production, transportation and marketing along the value chain. AAK contributes indirectly to food security and poverty alleviation within the country. The Organisation won various awards including the SmartFish Award in 2016.
Fish consumption in Africa in general is very low with the exception of some countries such as the Seychelles, Comoros and Mauritius where per capita consumption is much higher than the World Health Organisation recommendation of 17 kg of fish per capita. To encourage fish consumption in Kenya, AAK launched its “Eat More Fish” Campaigns in five regions in Kenya, namely at Isiolo, Kisii, Makueni, Narok and Taita taveta. AAK is also encouraging the consumption of fish within the Masaai community, which is now embracing the concept of fish farming as a business.
The campaign also aims at creating awareness on value addition, improve linkages and promote networking amongst farmers and encourage new farmers to engage in aquaculture.
AAK intends to continue this campaign and expand to other regions explaining the benefits of eating more fish. AAK also carries out intensive training amongst the communities and distribute free materials and equipment whenever possible.
The organization is presently on the look out for more funding to expand its activities.
Ms Margaret Gatonye, CEO at AAK is a young professional completely dedicated to empower the grass root farmers and raise their standard of living. She joined the AAK in 2012 and since spares no effort to have the work done effectively and serves as an example to her staffs.
Contact address: info @ aakfish.org
The “eat more fish campaign” being promoted by AAK in Kenya could serve as an example and be beneficial to other countries in Africa. Note that fish protein is probably the cheapest and more affordable to local population, however fish distribution and marketing would need to be seriously looked into.