A new financial agreement has been signed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Republic of Kenya in support of the country’s aquaculture sector. This new agreement provides financial support to the Aquaculture Business Development Programme and related activities designed to promote fish production in 15 target counties. The total cost of the programme is US$143.3 million, which includes a $40million loan from IFAD.

The programme will also be financed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Kenyan government and the beneficiaries themselves.

The financial agreement which was signed in Rome by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Harriet M. Nduma, Charge d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, will assist thousands of farmers in becoming profitable fish producers or village-level providers of support services within value chains in countries that already have aquaculture-related infrastructure, adequate water resources and high poverty rates.

The proposed approach will merge public and private sector investments in the aquaculture value chain with community-wide initiatives that encourage good nutrition and food security through education and easy access to affordable foods.

The new programme will also focus on women and youth. Youth unemployment is also very high in rural areas and it is hoped that the new programme will slow outward migration.