The Aquacultural Association of Kenya (AAK) is the National umbrella body of all fish farmers in Kenya. The association was started in the year 2007 and registered in year 2008 under section 10 of the Societies Act laws of Kenya. It is a non- political, non- religious membership association that aims at articulating issues affecting its members and the aquaculture industry at large.
To be the most innovative, visible, informative, effective and supportive aquacultural association.
To develop, grow, expand and maintain aquaculture for food security, poverty reduction and healthy living.
Lobby and Advocate on all aquaculture policies and legislations
Policy and regulatory bottlenecks hinder the development of aquaculture by smallholder fish farmers and discourage investment by other value chain actors. One of the key functions of the Association is to ensure that the policies and legislations put in place favour the development of the fish farming industry in Kenya. There is still a lot that needs to be done to create a better enabling environment for for fish farming in Kenya. AAK together with other stakeholders within the fish value chain will work together to formulate and implement policy where it is non-existent.
Promotion of information, networking and communication among fish farmers and other stakeholders
Information and networking gap among fish farmers must be addressed to improve communication and knowledge of aquaculture development in the Kenya.
Advocate for Improved production of quality Tilapia, Catfish and Trout Fingerling
AAK advocates and will continue to do so to continually Improve the production of quality Tilapia, Catfish and Trout Fingerling for better aquaculture development.
Advocate for development and production acquisition of quality commercial fish feeds.
Tom Openda- Fish vendor, Kisii County
“Fish farming was never one of my forte” I started buying and selling fish in 2009 and since then fish farming in my county has grown tremendously over the years" says Tom.
“My interest in fish processing started when Aquacultural Association of Kenya together with State Department of Fisheries through a pilot project funded by KAPP assisted me to acquire fish processing equipment and trained me on Value addition and now I am a fully qualified trainer and a model vendor” says Tom.
Through the Association Tom has been trained as a trainer (TOT) on standards requirement for market access, fish handling and preservation among other and with his knowledge and skills, he has been able to train over 20 farmers in his county and hope to increase this number to 100 before the end of the year. Mr Openda sells his processed fish products to the local institutions, schools, hospitals, hotels and open market days in Kisii, Nyamira, Ogembo, Oyugis and Trans Mara.
“This fish business has taken me places. Recently together with Mr Maingi National Chairman AAK, and Domitila Kyule, we represented AAK and Kenya in a Solo Exhibition held in DRC where we were able to market our products, establish linkages and networks for doing business in Kenya and DRC” says Tom
Mr Openda has also worn several fish awards including Fish for Trade award 2016 awarded by IOC-Smartfish Programme. He is one of the ten fish vendors in the country who have succeeded in adding value to fish.
Smallholder fish farmers have what the markets need but don't have the quantities to meet the market demand. Their inability to consistently produce to sustain the market throughout the year, lack of information and networking and lack of proper marketing systems among others have hindered aquaculture value chain development in Kenya. AAK has found the answer to this challenge! Through our cluster formation and mobilization model, fish farmers are able to have synchronised production system where different farmers groups produce at different time of the year.