Shalton Omollo: How Fish Farmer Lost Over Sh 20 Million Within A Day

Shalton Omollo, the proprietor of Elso Farm Limited in Kisumu counted losses after what was intended to be a bumper harvest turned out to be a nightmare. In November 10th 2022, Thursday, an excited Omollo was full of vibe and was enthusiastic that he was going to harvest his fish. He took to Facebook to advertise that his fish would cost between 280-430 shillings depending on the size.

However, the following day turned out to be a painful day he wishes to forget. When he visited his aquaculture cages, he found all the 80000 pieces of fish dead. Omollo shared the photos of the lifeless fish on his Facebook account, leading to an outpouring of emotions as Kenyans sympathised with him.

Today is Friday, 11th November. The day I dubbed as Elso Fish Friday. I woke up to go harvest my fish in Kisumu and other depots. This is is what I woke up to. All fish are dead; 80000 pieces of fish ready for harvest,” he posted.

The dead fish in Omollo’s cages [Photo|Shalton Omollo]

With the smallest fish costing Ksh280, the Kisumu based farmer lost an approximate output of at least Ksh22,400,000. He revealed that he had invested an estimated Ksh 2.7 million into the inputs. What remains a mystery however is the cause of the death. Was it water pollution? Was it sabotage? No answers.

How Omollo ventured into fish farming 

In an interview with Nation earlier this year, Omollo revealed that he ventured into aquaculture after getting wind of how the investment had high returns. In 2019, he quit his job as a clerk for a clearing and forwarding company in Mombasa in order to start his fish empire.

The 30 year old only had Ksh200,000 as savings and began with one cage measuring 6m×6m×4m. The project was based at Ogal Beach in Lake Victoria. The determined farmer bought 5000 fingerlings with each one costing Ksh4. He then bought feeds worth Ksh 60000. His first harvest was however a hard lesson for him as he didn’t achieve what he had planned.

I ventured into aquaculture without any formal training. Later, experts informed me that the fish were underweight because I had overstocked the cage. With that knowledge, I scaled down to  4,000 fingerlings,” he told Nation.

Having picked up the crucial necessities that he needed to succeed, Omollo became the master of the venture. He divulged that there are months he would earn up to ksh 350000. According to Omollo, for one to make a fortune in fish farming, he/she has to ensure 4 crucial conditions are met: quality feeds, quality fingerlings, quality water and appropriate population.

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