You too can keep these pretty ornamental fish
“This is my haven. It feels magical to live around all this beauty. I must say it is therapeutic,” says the retired chief.
Fish farming to him is “the most lucrative agricultural venture of our time”.
The type of fish dictates also its cost. For instance, an inch of koi goes for Sh100, while that of gold fish and yellow comet is Sh30 while shubkin sells at Sh50 an inch. Fantail ranges from Sh400 to Sh600 depending on size.
“The fantail has little survival chance in this region. So, I crossbreed it with the other fish types but mainly gold fish to ensure it endures the climate here,” notes Ndegwa, adding he sells catfish and mudfish fillets at Sh500 and Sh600 respectively.
“I produce the fish in bulk to take advantage of increased demand in the market. I breed the fish continuously in my small ponds, therefore, there is no time I lack fish to sell,” says Ndegwa, who notes he earns decently from his venture.
“It was from the researcher that I learnt how to take care of fish and decided to revive the business,” says Ndegwa, who supplies his fish locally to farmers in Nyeri, Murang’a, Embu and Meru and helps them set up ponds.
Although he is not struggling with market, Ndegwa says the challenge he has is mainly predators such as frogs and birds. He controls the invaders by covering the ponds with nets.
Henry Kinyua, an agricultural specialist in Nyeri, says ornamental fish are in the same category as flowers and are traded for their aesthetics. They are used to beautify rooms and just like flowers, they should not be eaten.