- What is the current legal status of F4K?
F4K was formally established as a non-profit Society in the Yukon in Dec/21 and received CRA Charitable status in Jan/23.
- What is the primary purpose of F4K? The primary purpose of F4K as established under the Society registration is the training of fish farmers in Kenya as follows:
1.To advance education by providing training on the subject of fish farming practices, including pond construction and management, feeding and fertilization, and business management and marketing, to individuals located in Kenya; and 2.To do all such things as are ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above charitable purpose.
- What is the current F4K workplan?
The current work plan is to train 20 new fish farmers every year from 5 communities (Check map on Fish4Kenya website) in the Western Kenyan region with equitable representation from the communities and with gender balance.
- How are new trainees selected?
The Manager of F4K in Kenya, Hussein Wechuli, consults with fish farmer representatives and organizations in the 5 communities and interested applicants need to complete an application form and questionnaire. The manager them selects the best candidates in consultation with established fish farmers in the communities. Prospective fish farming trainees must have a suitable pond and water supply that is ready to stock to be considered.
- What does the training program involve and what support does F4K provide?
Prospective fish farming trainees must attend and complete a 4 day classroom training session on fish farming practices and business management and a 2 year practical training period that involves 2 stocking and harvesting cycles. F4K provides monosex tilapia fingerlings and 5 shipments of feed in the 1st year and 5 shipments of feed in the 2nd year for trainees who must pay for the fingerlings for restocking. As well, F4K provides ongoing technical and logistical support and monitors fish growth and survival over the 2 year practical training period.
- What is the focus of the training program?
The training program involves basic fish farming training with a focus on best management practices involving the stocking of monosex male fingerlings and the use of high protein pelleted feed to improve growth and market value.
F4K conducted a survey in 2018 of all 100+ fish farmers that have been part of training programs since its inception in 2005. Most of the fish farmers, or about 70-75 % of trainees, were still fish farming but they were struggling with over reproduction and stunting of tilapia in their ponds, as well as with the lack of availability of high protein feeds to allow for growth to a marketable size of about 400-500g. Tilapia females start reproducing at about 3 months, when they are very small, and the end result is a pond full of small Tilapia that have little market (or food) value.
This has been addressed by the stocking of monsex male Tilapia so there is no reproduction and the use of high protein (30-40% protein) pelleted feeds which are relatively expensive and often imported, but the results of these management practices is amazing with all the feed going into the production of large marketable high value ($2-4/kg) fish and not just feeding the pond as in the past.
- What support does F4K provide to fish farming trainees after the 2 year training period?
F4K continues to provide technical and logistical support in the ordering and delivery of fingerlings and feed to all fish farmers that continue to be part of F4K and encourages community support and cooperation to assist all fish farmers.F4K provides NO further financial support.
- Does F4K provide any other support to fish farmers that are part of F4K?
In 2023 F4K provided funding to Lunza fish farmers to purchase a solar powered pump at a cost of about $650 to help fish farmers maintain water levels in their ponds when water supply in the current Kenyan drought conditions became a problem for some farmers.
- Is F4K considering any other support programs for fish farmers that are part of F4K?
F4K is working on fundraising to build and operate a pilot fish hatchery for a year to produce monsex fingerlings in one community. After the 1st year of operation the fish farmers in the community would need to take over operation of the fish hatchery. The cost estimates for constructing and operate such a pilot hatcheryare about $10—$15K.
- How are donations to F4K spent?
All current donations go directly to the training of the 20 fish farmers every year (~$12K) and the salary of the manager of F4K in Kenya (~$5k) who manages and administers the entire program in Kenya and has been part of F4K since its inception in 2005 when he was hired and trained by Susan Thompson.
- Why is fish farming important to farmers in western Kenya?
All the fish farming trainees and members that are part of F4K are already farmers so food supply is not the biggest issue, but they do not have the cash for some of the basics of family life like paying for school fees and uniforms so they can send their children to school and also some basics like purchasing new tin for the roofs of their house. Fresh Tilapia are in very high demand in Kenya and when fish farmers harvest buyers come directly to the farm and purchase all the fish harvested.
- Is the F4K fish farming training program sustainable and do the trainees continue to fish farm after the 2nd year when financial supports cease?
Of the 20 fish farmers trained during 2019-21 18 have continued to stock their ponds and provide all the feeds with logistical support from F4K in the ordering and delivery of fingerlings and feeds without any other financial support, which is very positive. The 20 fish farmers trained in the second group during 2021-2023 are just finishing of their harvesting and most are expected to restock and feed without any further financial support from F4K. Of course the sustainability of training and education to improve the quality of life is always variable.For example, one fish farmer decided to go back to school to continue education and stopped fish farming and 2 are deceased.This probably deserves further monitoring and analysis and adaptive management as the project progresses.
The current feedback from past F4K trainees is pretty amazing, including references to the program helping them to be better community citizens by helping other fish farmers (pond construction and harvesting) and receiving and accepting help from others. Female fish farmers say they are now respectable business operators in their communities and others are saying they can now afford to send their children to school.
- Where can I get further information on the history and current operations of Fish4Kenya and how can I donate if interested in supporting?
Check out the website and Facebook sites at:
For donations go to our support page: