Luke Dale-Roberts x KenyA, ParT 1: Fish Farms

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Chefs for Change ambassador Luke Dale-Roberts, chef at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa, travelled to Kenya’s Kisumu District to meet fish farmers working with the NGO Farm Africa.

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Demand for fish in Kenya is rapidly rising. But Lake Victoria is fast running out of wild fish.

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Suzanna from Vihiga, western Kenya, is one of many farmers meeting the growing demand for fish by developing environmentally friendly fish farms in fishponds.

Farm Africa helps farmers make a success out of fish farming by increasing their yields and finding new buyers.

Suzanna now knows what size fish to stock and how to feed them. Meaning more fish, higher profits, new jobs.

She told Luke: “We have been working with Farm Africa for six years. They have made a tremendous difference to our farm, in terms of providing fingerlings [baby fish] for us, providing guidelines on how to feed the fish, how many grams they can weigh and so on and so forth.”

Luke helped out with a fish harvest on a fish farm run by Suzanna in Vihiga, western Kenya.

 
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“The fish here is not as good as fish from the lake, it’s better!”

Suzanna, whose family’s fish farm in Vihiga, western Kenya, is receiving support from Farm Africa

By optimising how they rear fish, the family can now harvest fish more frequently.

Suzanna commented: “Before we worked with Farm Africa, we took 10 or 11 months until harvest. Now, after six or seven months they are ready for harvesting. We can sell more often now. The fish farm is earning more money now. We have created three new jobs. It is hard to find jobs here.”

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“Coming on trips like this is not just about the ingredients that you might find. It’s meeting people and interacting with people. Travel is one of the most inspirational things for me.”

Luke Dale-Roberts, pictured with Farm Africa Project Officer Teddy Nyanapah

The visit to Suzanna’s farm made a big impression on Luke, who commented: “I’m here in Kisumu, Kenya looking at what Farm Africa is doing here with fish farming: tilapia and catfish farming. It’s a great privilege for me to be involved in Chefs for Change, seeing the way food can be grown and farmed in a sustainable way. I’m so honoured to be part of this movement.”

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Catching the fish this morning was the easy bit. Now we’ve got to fillet it, make the sauce, make the ugali. Hopefully I can make something delicious.”

Luke Dale-Roberts

After helping out with Suzanna’s fish harvest, Luke then travelled to a fish farming training centre in Tigoi, where he worked with fish farmer Zinath to develop a new tilapia recipe.