Local Fishers Cash In Big as Cheap Imports Drop
Fish industry has recorded tremendous shoot in profits amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country. The boom has been reported after imports from China dropped following the epidemic.
According to Dunga Beach sellers, they have been able to record a 40 per cent rise in profits in the past two weeks. Dunga beach is at the shores of Lake Victoria.
“The fishermen are now smiling at the Lake Victoria region because we are receiving more visitors. Dunga is crowded with a lot of the residents of Kisumu coming to buy the fresh fish because people fear the Chinese boxed fish due to the coronavirus,” says Maurice Misodhi, a fisherman and leader at the Dunga Beach Management Unit.
Records indicate that the Chinese fish has been able to influence sales in the country as they are cheaper compared to the local fish, something which saw the country import fish worth more than $23m (£19m) in 2018.
Before the pandemic, the frozen Chinese fish was enjoying a 50 per cent market share in the country. This has changed after the two states introduced several measures in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 with the export and import sector being negatively hit.
Before the drop of imports in November last year, fishers in the country were facing hard times as they could resort to eating their catch or selling at a throwaway price due to the effect of the cheap import in the local markets.
However, for traders like Caroline Ochieng, feel a loss with the unavailability of the cheap as she is struggling to make a decent profit through selling the local fish.
“That is the reason we want the China fish to be in supply as well as that from our own lake – so that as we do business, we don’t feel the burden.”
Despite the rise in profits, there are fears that the demand for fresh fish in the country might surpass the supply unless strategic measures are put in place to have the supply constant moving forward.