Cage fishing nets millions for community

When Nixon Shikuku visited Zambia and Uganda a few years ago, he learnt ‘how millions of money can be fished out of a lake’.

The idea excited him so much that he not only decided to venture into the activity but also asked members of his community to join him.

Shikuku, 45, an accountant, first approached his friend, Dave Oketch, and told everything he had learned about cage fishing from his travels.

And in August 2016, Rio Holdings Limited which is based in Ong’ukwa beach in Homa Bay County, was born with Shukuku and Oketch as its directors.

The company invested Sh5 million as capital for cages and other requirements such as feeds and boats.


The company’s earnings from the small cages in their last harvest stood at Sh28.8 million.

The small cages are harvested after every six months, and they’ve been harvested twice since the company began its operations.

The directors told Seeds of Gold that about Sh11 million goes to operations like purchase of feeds, paying owners of the cages the company keeps on their behalf and paying the workers……

Boosting aquaculture production in africa

For decades, investment and production of fish from aquaculture in africa has been at the minimal levels as compared to the rest of the world. It’s until recently that several african countries realised the social economic benefits that can arise from fish farming. Governments, local and foreign investors have set aside and invested millions of dolllars in aquaculture but still there is long way to go to achieve remarkable output. Alot of investment has been directed to the sub-saharan region which has huge untapped potential. Besides that, the number of aquaculture professionals in africa has been on the increase since 1990s – they have been trained in Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, The US, Korea, Japan, South africa…. These professionals work as academic staff in universities, government departments etc. On top of that, several countries are putting in place legislations in support of aquaculture and discourage fish imports.

The big question is, what are the current drawbacks towards significant aquaculture production in africa.


As Southeast Asia’s aquaculture industry moves to greater production and extra-regional exports, they face an issue of critical importance. USSEC’s Southeast Asia Aquaculture Program has identified that there are still many in the aquaculture industry that are either unaware of or not paying attention to the international movement by buyers to purchase only certified product. Buyer pressure helped put standards and certifications into place to ensure seafood safety after several international issues with potentially unsafe aquaculture products such as antibiotic residues in seafood. However, the standards are also fostering an environment where responsible production and sustainability issues are becoming more important, which will move Southeast Asia’s aquaculture industry in general from short-term production approaches to long-term ones. This fits very well with the USSEC ideal for promotion of a profitable and sustainable feed-based aquaculture industry that plans for the long term….(

Aquaculture without borders network

Our linkedin Aquaculture without borders network (AWBN) is meant to connect small scale fish farmers, communities , aquaculture professionals,government agencies and institutions to achieve our targets – sustainable aquaculture. Our solidarity will help in changing lives through fish farming in a bottom up appoach by channeling resources to the grassroots and empowering rural folks.

Join AWBN and share with us your experience and way forward in aquaculture development.


Challenges facing women in Aquaculture

Women have different roles in different sectors of the economy however they face many constraints. In fish farming, aquaculture without borders is trying to identify some these challenges in order to come up with practically tailored solutions.

Some of the constraints faced by women are:
1: Gender bias
2: Lack of basic education especially in rural areas
3: Lack of awarenes about their rights
4: Cultural believes
5: Lack of financial support to initial projects
6: Lack of knowledge and training in aquaculture
7: Lack of policies to empower women
8: Lack entrepreneurial skills


Sexual maturity is reached at 10-30 cm TL and is related to the maximum size attained in a given population and condition, which in turn is determined by food availability and temperature. Reproduction occurs only when temperature exceeds 20 °C. The breeding cycle is latitude dependent and spawning becomes more seasonal at higher latitudes. In many instances the breeding cycle is synchronized with the rainy season. The species is a nest building, batch spawning mouth brooder that can spawn every 30 days. The nest, like in many tilapiine fishes, is a circular depression in sandy areas of up to 1m in diameter and 0.5 m deep. The average nest diameter is twice the length of the male making it. Males are highly territorial and defend their nests. Batches of eggs are spawned into the nest, fertilized externally and then picked up by the female. The female incubates the eggs for 5-7 days when they hatch and the early juveniles remain in the mouth until after yolk sac absorption. Depending on size, females can carry up to 200 eggs. The eggs are large and ovoid (pear shaped) and at hatching the fish are around 4mm in length (Trewavas, 1983).

The Need for Aquaponics

Aquaponics is the production of fish (aquaculture) and plants in the same recirculatory system. In a nutshell, nutrients-rich water from the aquaculture unit is taken up by the plants (Vegetables). Through nitrification process the system ensures these nutrients are readily  available for plant growth.

According to Mark Kyenze (Founder of Aquaculture without borders- AWB), Aquaponics is adeal in both urban and rural farming  because of its self-sustaining nature and being environmentally friendly. To achieve a milestone and make positive impacts, resources are required to scale up such initiative but the ultimate benefits are worth the effort.

To benefit rural communities, its important to come up with simple, affordable aquaponics kits which can be take up by small scale farmers in large numbers. By so doing, household incomes will rise, malnutrition and poverty will be a thing of the past too.

AWB is looking forward to team up with experts who can come up with affordable aquaponics systems.  We believe “together we can change lives”.