Mwea Aquafish Farm is in Kirinyaga County, on the slopes of Mount Kenya at 1050m above sea level in a low rainfall area famous for irrigated rice that feeds the entire Country and beyond. The Fish Farm is 110 kilometers North East of Nairobi on the Nairobi/Embu and 1.5 km from Kimbimbi town and can be accessed throughout the year through a good all weather road.
This is a “Model Fish Farm” where Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) are raised in earthen liner ponds, and concrete tanks. It began in August 2009 on 3.5 hectares of agricultural land. Initially, The farm had 1,500 banana seedlings that were replaced with fishponds of various dimensions and sizes. Farming fish here is practiced on 29 earthen/static ponds with well-laid liners. In addition, there are eight beehive 20m2 Recirculating tanks for tilapia grow out. Most ponds (measuring 300 m2) were constructed on sandy/loam/clay soils. The farm has a two-bed room permanent guesthouse, two offices, a large classroom with a capacity to sit up to 40 fish farmers/students and a large feed store.
The site was chosen because production here takes place all year-round resulting from warm weather and good water quality. There are three sources of water that supplies the farm; the main water source is from the Nyamindi a tributary of River Sagana. Water flows by gravity through a 2-inch plastic pipe for over a kilometer then discharge into the ponds. Three large reservoirs were constructed next to a small stream that runs past the farm. Water is also pumped from three constructed next to a small stream that runs past the lower part of the farm into head tanks then discharged into the ponds by gravity. The third water source is a Borehole 85 meter deep with a discharge of 20m3 per hour. Currently we are only pumping 6m3 of water per hour from this source.
Ponds are very well laid out and integrate with the gradient of the land and profile good scenery admirable to the eyes.
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We envisage a long-term goal of producing quality seed for fish farmers leading to increased farmed fish that grows faster and attracts a market and offers better prices and income for the rural communities in this country.