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March 16-31, 2012 ISSUE 058 A bimonthly newspaper by the Media Diversity Centre, a project of African Woman and Child Feature Service Making of billionaires out of small time fishing By KIGONDU NDAVANO The new craze in modern fishing will soon make millionaires out of small scale fishermen and ordinary peasant farmers in the North Coast. A better percentage of KSh3 billion allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries’ Development for expansion of fishing projects at the Coast is already going towards the new but  unique multi-million dollar industry. Ordinary Kenyans along 75-kilometre coastline in Magarini District, Kilifi County will soon be experts in growing of the brine shrimp – Artemia – a small crustacean known to be a highly nutritious food that is indispensable for marine fish larvae.  The coastline is now dominated by salt manufacturing firms who manage huge lakes of sea water in ponds before turning them into salt. Kenya’s salt belt in Magarini covers 10,000 hectares and soon this will be minting billions into local and national economy. Experts say that by use of one third of this area of salt production for integrated salt, Artemia production will improve the economy of the area by up to KSh10 billion annually especially if that exercise is done at finest levels. From the onset, in the dry and bushy villages of Magarini District where homesteads are lined next to huge salt ponds and crop failure is a norm accompanied by the always high levels of poverty. The new project is expected to environmentally match with what ordinary Kenyans have always been used to, a life in the salt ponds. “These peasant farmers, majority of whom have for years worked as casual workers in the salt mines har- vesting the crystals from saline waters will soon start to associate salt ponds, not with suffering but with huge earnings in foreign exchange,” explains Patrick ole Ntutu, Magarini District Officer.  According to Dr Betty Mindraa Nyonje, an expert on Artemia and project coordinator, brine shrimp artemia is a small crustacean which is highly nutritious that is indispensible for marine fish larvae. Kenya’s salt belt in Magarini covers about 10, 000 hectares and by use of one third of this area of salt production for integrated salt, Artemia production can improve the economy of the this area by up to KSh10 billion annually if done at optimal levels. When the Minister for Fisheries launched the project at Kadzuhoni Village, even experts on fish and Continued on page 2 From top: A group of pupils from Kadzuhoni Primary school in Malindi District tour the artemia, cysts and biomass ponds. Workers at the salt mine. A scientist with the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Instiutute Maureen Mukami introduces artemia cysts and biomas into one of the several ponds started at Kadzuhoni area in Malindi District. Pictures: Kigondu Ndavano Read more Reject stories online at

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