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Title: Characterization of smallholder aquaculture systems and growth performance of the African catfish (clarias gariepinus) in high altitude areas of Kenya.
Authors: Oyieng, Pancras Edwin
Keywords: The African catfish
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Aquaculture in Kenya is diverse with uncharacterized fish strains under varying production and management systems. This study characterized the smallholder aquaculture systems and analyzed the growth and survival of the African catfish (Clariasgariepinus) fingerlingsin the former Eastern Province of Kenya. The study also mapped the smallholder aquaculture value chain and identified the main challenges therein. Information on the value chain, fish production and management was collated from 198fish famers, 13 traders’ and3 key informants. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data.The predominant species of fish reared was the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), followed by the African Catfish (C.gariepinus). Good growth rates and survival of fish were noted to be the most important traits of economic importance to the farmers. Fish produced was mainly sold to the local community and within local markets. Traders, however, indicated that the demand for fish was much higher than the supply, hence also sourced fish from lakes in the country for sale. Strains of fish selected for improved growth and reproduction were not available for aquaculture.132 families of the African catfish sourced from Sagana River were thus monitored for growth and survival over a period of 60 days. Growth and survival of the fingerlings were significantly affected by the stocking density and sire group. Survival rates within sire group ranged from 10.7 – 90%, while average daily gain and specific growth rate had means of 0.06±0.04g/day and 2.30±0.88g respectively. Weight gain at 60 days had a mean of 3.34±2.32g. The highest final length at 60 days recorded was 9.63cm while the highest final weight recorded was 8.78g. Sires of 551-650g at a stocking density of 41-70 fry/hapa produced fingerlings with the highest mean growth rates. The study showed that the smallholder aquaculture value chain (VC) in Eastern Kenya is still rudimentary. There are few brood stock and fingerling suppliers who not yet able to meet the demand of the farmers. Feed manufactures are also few and the feeds are expensive hence farmers opt for home-made feeds. Main extension services are provided by the government through the fisheries department; however, personnel are not enough to reach all farmers in the area. The farmers don’t target export markets and very few produce fish for urban markets. Challenges experienced along the VC present an opportunity for further development of the sector and for selective breeding of the African catfish.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Science

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