Freshwater Aquaculture and Household Performance in Busia County, Kenya


  • Douglas Atamba Miima MSc Disaster Management and Sustainable Development Candidate, School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
  • Edward Musungu Mugalavai Ph.D, Chair Disaster Management and Sustainable Development and Senior Lecturer, School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
  • Jacob W. Wakhungu Prof. Dean School of Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Technology, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya



Aquaculture, Busia County, Agricultural Extension Services, Fingerlings, Freshwater Aquaculture


Aquaculture has become a household source of proteins, taking over the traditional red meat delicacy that promotes food security and livelihood for over 2.5 billion people. This covers approximately 40 percent of the world’s fish production. As the population increases, the demand for fish increases owing to the current deficit. Therefore, the need for freshwater aquaculture is high to meet global demand. Busia County has benefited from internal and external support for household aquaculture practices to address nutrition challenges and livelihoods as well. This study investigated freshwater aquaculture performance in Busia County, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional research design, applying both quantitative and qualitative methods. The target population was 55,608 households in Bunyala and Teso South sub-counties, resulting in a sample size of 384 households. Simple random sampling was used to select the households, while purposive sampling was used to select key informants. Questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussion guides, and photography were used to collect data. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS version 25.0, while qualitative data was analyzed by grouping them into themes and reporting verbatim. Private hatcheries produced the majority of fingerlings, which increased their price for households. Households bought fish feed from the local agrovets, which was not quite affordable to farmers. Extension services were primarily provided in pond management (96.1%; OR = 2.67), record-keeping (92.7%), and fish marketing (77.7%). Private sector hatcheries are the main distributors of fingerlings to farmers, which could have contributed to the higher price of a fingerling while also considering the transportation cost of the precious fingerlings. Pond management, recording keeping, and marketing were the main extension services accorded to households surveyed. Owing to the low investment in hatcheries by the national and county governments of Busia, there is a need to rethink the installation of government hatcheries in all sub-counties for ease of accessibility and affordability in order to promote the sustainability of aquaculture.


Ababouch, L., & Fipi, F. (2015). Fisheries and aquaculture in the context of the blue economy. Recuperadode Accessed on 27.03.2020

Asiedu, B., Nunoo, F. K. E., & Iddrisu, S. (2017). Prospects and sustainability of aquaculture development in Ghana, West Africa. Cogent Food and Agriculture, 3(1), 1349531. DOI:

Ateweberhan, M., Hudson, J., Rougier, A., Jiddawi, N., Msuya, F., Stead, S., & Harris, A. (2018). Community-based aquaculture in the western Indian Ocean: challenges and opportunities for developing sustainable coastal livelihoods. Ecology and Society, 23(4), 67-73. DOI:

Béné, C., Arthur, R., Norbury, H., Allison, E. H., Beveridge, M., Bush, S. R., Campling, L., Leschen, W., Little, D., Squires, D., Thilsted, S. H., Troell, M., & Williams, M. (2016). Contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to food security and poverty reduction: assessing the current evidence. World Development, 79, 177-196. DOI:

Cai, J., Quagrainie, K., & Hishamunda, N. (2017). Social and Economic Performance of Tilapia Farming in Africa. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular (C1130).

Carter, C. (2018). The Politics of Aquaculture: Sustainability Interdependence, Territory and Regulation in Fish Farming. Routledge. DOI:

Chen, C. L., & Qiu, G. H. (2014). The long and bumpy journey: Taiwan׳'s aquaculture development and management. Marine Policy, 48, 152-161. DOI:

Fry, J., Love, D., Shukla, A., & Lee, R. (2014). Offshore finfish aquaculture in the United States: an examination of federal laws that could be used to address environmental and occupational public health risks. International journal of environmental research and public health, 11(11), 11964-11985. DOI:

Hossain, M. A. (2014). Habitat and fish diversity: Bangladesh perspective. In Recent advances in the fisheries of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum, Dhaka (pp. 1-26).

KNBS. (2019). 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census. Volume I: Population by County and Sub-County. Counting Our People for Sustainable Development and Devolution of Services. Nairobi: Government Printers.

Kobayashi, M., Msangi, S., Batka, M., Vannuccini, S., Dey, M. M., & Anderson, J. L. (2015). Fish to 2030: the role and opportunity for aquaculture. Aquaculture Economics and Management, 19(3), 282-300. DOI:

Koge, J., Opola, F., Obwanga, B., Kilelu, C., & Rurangwa, E. (2018). "A comparative study on aquaculture sector development in Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria: Sharing insights and drawing lessons for Kenya." An Expert Group Round-Table Meeting, 16th March 2018, Azure Hotel, Nairobi (No. 002). Wageningen Marine Research.

Krause, G., Brugere, C., Diedrich, A., Ebeling, M. W., Ferse, S. C. A., Mikkelsen, E., Pérez Agúndez, J. A., Stead, S. M., Stybel, N., & Troell, M. (2015). A revolution without people? Closing the people-policy gap in aquaculture development. Aquaculture, 447, 44-55. DOI:

Kundu, R., Muchiri, M., Njiru, M., & Nyamweya, C. (2016). Effect of Social and Economic Drivers on Success of Small-Scale Fish Farming in Western Kenya. African Journal of Tropical Hydrobiology and Fisheries, 14(1), 29-44.

Mathiesen, Á. M. (2015). The state of world fisheries and aquaculture 2012. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations.

Munguti, J. M., Kim, J. D., & Ogello, E. O. (2014). An overview of Kenyan aquaculture: Current status, challenges, and opportunities for future development. Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 17(1), 1-11. DOI:

Musyoka, S. N., & Mutia, G. M. (2016). The status of fish farming development in arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya: A case study of Makueni County. European Journal of Physical and Agricultural Sciences. South Eastern Kenya University, Kenya, 15(3), 56-61.

Odende, T., Ogello, E. O., Iteba, J. O., Owori, H., Outa, N., Obiero, K. O., Munguti, J. M., Kyule, D. N., Kimani, S., & Osia, M. M. (2022). Promoting sustainable smallholder aquaculture productivity through landscape and seascape aquapark models: A case study of Busia County, Kenya. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 6, 898044. DOI:

Rurangwa, E., Agyakwah, S. K., Boon, H., & Bolman, B. C. (2015). Development of Aquaculture in Ghana: Analysis of the fish value chain and potential business cases (No. C021/15). IMARES.

Shitote, Z., Wakhungu, J., & China, S. (2012). Challenges facing fish farming development in Western Kenya. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3(5), 305-311. DOI:

Soliman, N. F., & Yacout, D. M. (2016). Aquaculture in Egypt: status, constraints and potentials. Aquaculture International, 24(5), 1201-1227. DOI:

Soree, A. M. (2017). Effects of climate change on rural livelihoods in Busia County, Kenya. International Journal of Agriculture and Earth Science, 3(8), 75-89.

Yamane, T. (1967). Elementry sampling theory. Prentice Hall, USA.

World Food Programme. (2016). Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Survey 2016. Accessed on 27.03.2020.




How to Cite

Miima, D. A., Mugalavai, E. M., & Wakhungu, J. W. (2023). Freshwater Aquaculture and Household Performance in Busia County, Kenya. African Journal of Empirical Research, 4(2), 1071–1081.

Most read articles by the same author(s)