Kibao kiche fish farmers is a youth led enterprise registered by the department of social development in 2018 and has the following activities; rearing tilapia and catfish, operating a fish shop and also formulating organic fish feeds using local and readily available raw material with the use of Pearson square method for commercial purposes. The fish is sold raw as well as value added fish products. The main goal was to create sustainable livelihood among youth through employment creation and development of agri-entrepreneurial skills.
Kibaokiche Fish Farmers operating at Kibaokiche town was majorly affected by the covid-19 pandemic. Declining sales revenues, declining raw materials supply and stock, closure of business premises for 3 months due to rent arrears were some of the challenges of the business. Escalating utility bills (electric and water) made it difficult to run the fish feed formulation activities. The group also lacked a certificate of incorporation which hindered us from supply fish product to county government departments of livestock and fisheries and private institutions like MESPT that had expressed interest in purchasing our fish products.
Upon successful application of USADF COVID-19 mitigation Kibao Kiche Fish Farmers Youth Group Members of Kibaokiche Fish Farmers youth group formulating and processing organic fish feeds grants, the group was able to receive funds that helped clear pending/accrued utility bills (electricity and water), pay pending salaries and wages to full time and part time workers thus retaining existing employees, provide a safe working environment for staff and potential customers by purchasing safety kits and registration of the group into a limited company.
Kibaokiche fish farmers was able to pay half of the employee salary arrears. This enabled the employees to resume work and has stimulated an increase in sales from fresh fish, fish feeds and value added fish products. The additional income has made it possible to pay the remaining arrears to the employees to ensure no debts are remaining. Another positive is that members have been encouraged to put in good savings in the group which has aided in boosting the operating capital of the fish butchery.
With the same grant, market linkages were established. By registering a limited company which is now ready and applying for tenders for supply fish feeds and products to county government departments and institutions that had expressed interest in our products and services. This shall boost our competitive advantages to the fish production markets. In the same thread, the county government of Kilifi, department of trade was able to facilitate us with an interest free loan facility of Kshs. 450,000 for the purchase of cold storage unit, construction of a new fish pond and a three-wheeled tuktuk that is used for the transportation and distribution of the perishable fish products. Another milestone reached within the market linkages established from the USADF grant, we were able to apply for and successfully won competitive funding for fish processing equipment from Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) of Kshs.1,200,000 which shall also boost the group revenue collection through the expansion and development of the Kibaokiche Fish Farmers youth group business. The business is operating in a conducive environment with the covid-19 protocols being observed. A safe working and customer friendly environment has been established.