Co-writing a policy brief on aquaculture and food security

2019_Kevin_OBIERO_c_Cecilia_Muthoni.JPG
Kevin Obiero, an APPEAR scholar and PhD candidate at BOKU, recently published a policy brief for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). It highlights the urgent need for aquaculture growth to improve food security and nutrition in Kenya.

Prior to his PhD, Kevin was working as a research scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). Having long-lasting experience in this field he was requested to write this policy brief in collaboration with experts from the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and International Fund for Agricultural Development. The key messages highlighted in the brief include:

  • Fish is a vital source of essential macro- and micronutrients that can play an important role in reducing the high prevalence of undernutrition in Kenya.
  • Farmed fish production in Kenya would need to reach 150,000 tonnes in 2030 in order to generate enough fish to maintain the current per capita fish consumption (4.5 kg/capita/year) for the growing population, or reach 550,000 tonnes in order to increase its per capita fish consumption to the African average (10 kg/capita/year).
  • As a result of various public interventions, Kenya has had an impressive 20 per cent annual growth in aquaculture production since the new millennium. Yet deliberate efforts must be made to create an enabling environment for both public and private investments in the industry in order to unleash Kenya’s full potential in aquaculture for improving the country’s food and nutrition status.

Kevin Obiero is in possession of a M.Sc. Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from Moi University specialising in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. He is currently finalizing his PhD studies at BOKU University, focusing on the role of aquaculture technological innovations and extension systems to enhance sustainable aquaculture in Kenya, within the APPEAR project STRECAFISH. Prior to starting his PhD research, Kevin was working as a research scientist at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), based at Sagana Aquaculture Research Centre, where he coordinated research, administrative and financial functions and ensure activities are aligned to the Institute’s strategic direction and mandate. During his academic training and work experience spanning over 10 years, Kevin has participated in inter-disciplinary, multi-institutional and collaborative research projects at national, regional and international levels. He has co-authored more than 30 scientific publications i.e., 19 peer-reviewed articles, 12 books/book chapters and presented in over 20 scientific conferences. To upgrade his skills and professional experience, Kevin has attended several short courses and training programmes at international level including; Agriculture in Transition at Wageningen University, Fish Base and Fish Taxonomy Training at Royal Museum of Central Africa, Belgium, and Scientific Academic Exchange Programme at Nagasaki University, Japan. Presently, Kevin holds membership in six professional societies and is a Board Member for the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE) aimed at promoting research partnerships, collaboration and education in the African Great Lakes.

STRECAFISH project website