Kenya: New Fisheries Policy Out Soon

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A policy document detailing the operations of the new Fisheries ministry will be out in September this year, minister Dr Paul Otuoma said Sunday.

Dr Otuoma said that the document would spell out the functions of various departments in the ministry.

He said the new policy is being formulated to ensure efficient and effective running of the new ministry and to ensure that the fishing industry is beneficial to fishermen.

“As at now we cannot say much as a ministry until the new document is out and we hope it will be of great benefit to the industry,” he said.

Dr Otuoma, who was accompanied by Regional Development minister Fred Gumo and Butula MP Alfred Odhiambo was speaking during the burial of the late Paul Eruli a career educationist, at Bubango village in Samia district.

The new ministry, which was a department in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, became a fully fledged ministry after the formation of the grand coalition government.

The minister encouraged beach management units to consider establishing facilities that will produce ice rather than opting for big ice plants which were expensive and had little economic value to the local fishermen.

He announced that Co-operatives minister Joseph Nyagah would soon visit Bunyala Fishermen Co-operative Society to asses the losses that fishermen are incurring due to the collapse of the society’s Sh20million ice plant.

The plant which was established nearly six years ago stalled after all its seven ice making machines broke down.

The minister at the same time asked the local youths and women to diversify their economic activities by venturing into small scale businesses in order to alleviate poverty.

Dr Otuoma encouraged his Funyula constituents to take advantage of the current government microfinance plans such youth fund and women development fund to seek loans and develop their business.

“We should not fear taking loans because you cannot expand your business without them. Do not let others mislead you,” the fisheries minister said.

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