The Government of the Republic of Indonesia in cooperation with the Kenyan Government have over the last two years undertaken practical steps under framework of joint commission to promote bilateral relationship through aquaculture. Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish.
As part of the ongoing cooperation and to help strengthen relations of the two Governments, the Republic of Indonesia has initiated fish farming activities with the Ministry of Fisheries Development in Kenya. Mr. Winanto Adi, who is the Counsellor of Economic Affairs of the Indonesian Embasssy in Nairobi, introduced Catfish (Clarias Gariepinus) to the Kenyan Government. These breed of fish were reared at the National Aquaculture Research and Training Centre in Sagana, Muranga County, Kirinyaga West District. The fish farming project has been ongoing since the beginning of the year and on Tuesday 13th July 2011 was marked as the official date when the Catfish was handed over from the Republic of Indonesia to the Government of the Republic of Kenya.
At the handing over ceremony, the Counsellor was received by the Permanent Secretary, Professor Japhet Ntiba serving in the Ministry of Fisheries Development and was welcomed at the centre’s office. Also present was the Head of the Centre, District Commisioner - Kirinyaga West representative D.O-1, Director of Fisheries, District Officer – Kirinyaga West, Chief and Assisstant Chief of the Area.
The Head of the Centre made brief welcoming remarks proceeded by Counsellor signing official visitor’s book. Refreshments were served and later all the distinguished guests toured the Training Centre. The walk lead to viewing of the Training Centre’s newly constructed block, ongoing construction project and later a ground breaking ceremony of tree planting by the Counselor, Permanent Secretary, Director of Fisheries and Head of the Centre respectively.
The team later visited the fish pond site where different breeds of fish were show cased and also in display was the technology involved in rearing of these fish. The Counsellor then handed over the Catfish to the Permanent Secretary in a symbolic manner whereby the Catfish was caught in a hand held net. The viewing crowd applauded as journalists from different media houses took photos and recorded the handing over ceremony.
Later at the same venue open air tents had been pitched and table prepared for the distinguished guests and various stakeholders including members of the public, farmers and staff of the centre. The Master of Ceremony who was the Chief of the Area welcomed the guests and the public in general at the congregation. The Head of the Centre introduced the Staff of the Centre later followed remarks by the District Commisioner Kirinyaga West Representative, Director of Fisheries, Counsellor, and finally the Permanent Secretary who read the Minister’s speech on his apologetic absence. The talks were about future prospects of fish farming. Vote of Thanks and word of prayer culminated the ceremony and visitors left at their own pleasure.