Faith Kanaya Buluma is a fish farmer based in Western Kenya. Speaking to Daily Nation’s Taifa Leo, she detailed how she started and grew her fish business into the success story it is today. The business has been very profitable enabling her to educate her children to University level.
Here is her inspiring story as told by WoK.
The resident of Nangina village in Busia country decided to venture into fish farming in 2008. Her initial plan was to purchase fish from Lake Victoria.
However, she abandoned the plan upon realizing she needed to sell her body in exchange for the fish.
As this was her dream, she decided to look for other alternatives. She reached out to a social organization that helped her make a fish pond. This was the birth of her venture, Mingfa Fish farm.
Training and Investment
To be more effective in the venture, she paid a visit to the local office of the Ministry of Fisheries. They helped her build another pond and she received training on fish farming.
“Baadaye nilitembelea afisi za hapa nyumbani za wizara ya uvuvi ambapo kando na kupewa mafunzo zaidi kuhusiana na biashara hii, walinisaidia kutengeneza kidimbwi kingine,” she told Taifa Leo.
(loosely translated: I visited the local offices of the fisheries ministry where I learnt the business side of fish farming. They also assisted me me to construct another pond)
Initially, she invested Ksh13,000 to purchase 1,000 tilapia. This became a worthwhile investment as she minted Ksh79,000 from the sale later on.
“Lakini sikujuta kwani mauzo yangu ya kwanza yalinipa faida ya takriban Sh79,000.” (From my first harvest, I made a profit of Ksh79,000)
Success and Opening a Shop
Currently, she owns four fish ponds and hopes to expand her business even further. Her hope is to harvest at least twice yearly.
In 2010, she opened up a shop called Namboboto Aqua Shop in Busia. The shop’s inspiration was partly based on her difficult experience in acquiring fish feed.
At times she had to cross over to Uganda just to get fish feed. She sells fish feed and aquaculture products. The shop was established using a loan from a financial institution and her savings.
Apart from selling fish feeds and aquaculture products, she also constructs and repairs ponds and connects fish farmers to markets. Her clientele are mostly fish traders in Kenya and Uganda.
Despite the triumphs of the business, she has also encountered challenges. Initially, she did not have the land to construct a pond.
Her husband was reluctant to let her use his land for fish farming but he relented after taking time to buy the idea.
There are also unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change. Her ponds mainly rely on rain water. This means that scarcity of rainfall is disastrous for the business.