Impacts of Covid-19 Pandemic and Adaptive Strategies to Build Resilience in the Kenyan Aquaculture Sector
Munguti Jonathan, Iteba Jacob O, Outa Nicholas , Kirimi James , Mungai Daniel , Kyule Domitila , Kevin O , Ogello Erick O
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This study examines the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and adaptive strategies to build resilience among stakeholders and actors in the aquaculture value chain in Kenya. Prior to the pandemic, Kenya's aquaculture sector had progressed from a minor player to a key component of the country's fish food system. Fish and fishery products have become the most heavily traded food commodity in the Kenyan markets. The results indicate the pandemic had significant impacts on the access to aquaculture inputs, fish trade, and socio-economic livelihoods of the aquaculture value chain stakeholders and actors during the two whole years. Thus, initial and longer-term adaptive measures, in particular by private sector players and government agencies, can contribute to building resilience to multiple shocks and stressors among stakeholders and actors in the aquaculture sector. Some measures include a government incentive package to overcome the damage to the fisheries and aquaculture sector, improve farming operations and win the market trust and adopt new methods such as intelligent sensors, camera systems and automated or remotely controlled monitoring/feeding strategies to reduce labour intensity. Such measures and policies can cushion the sector against future shocks occasioned by such pandemics.