Traders in the Busia region of Kenya were elated to hear that Uganda has lifted imposed restrictions on Kenyan fish. Ways in which the countries can streamline fish exports from Lake Turkana to the Democratic Republic of Congo is also high on the agenda.
This week, representatives met in Turkana county, Kenya. Present were Francis Owino, Kenya Fisheries’ principal secretary, David Kasura-Kyomukama, the principal secretary of Uganda’s agriculture ministry, and Kevit Dasai, principal secretary of the East African Community.
Before departing on a tour to the shores of Lake Turkana to see the type and size of fish suggested for harvesting and holding grounds, the delegates met at the county commissioner’s office. The three stakeholders have agreed to form a team that will be responsible for creating optimal conditions for the transportation of fish.
“Under Busia county commissioner Dr Ahmed Omar we will establish a multi-agency team to design and agree on modernities that will hasten transportation of fish from Kenya to DRC,” Owino said.
“We have seen for ourselves and engaged a number of key stakeholders and from the Kenyan side we are satisfied that the mission is going to unlock the challenges that we were facing.”
Lifeline for farmers
Currently, many small-scale fish traders in Kenyan make use of the Busia Transhipment and Auction Centre to transport their fish. This centre has more than 1 000 farmers who rely on it to trade across borders, as buyers from many countries purchase fish from its market.
The centre has also recently undergone renovations to include a cold room, a storage room, a fresh fish handling section, an eatery and new offices.
“This is a very important development in the fish market, our main aim is to attain value addition through high level outcome, improved small-scale processing and packaging to stand high in the expo-market,” Desai added, as reported by Capital FM.
Ugandan security forces seized at least 300 tonnes of Kenyan fish worth Sh40 million headed for the Democratic Republic of Congo late last year.