In the year 2008, Faith Kanaya Buluma, a 55-year-old resident of Nangina village in Busia County, made a decision to venture into the fish-selling business.
Her plan was to buy fish from Lake Victoria, but she was taken aback when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to acquire the fish without being willing to trade her body for them.
However, Buluma was not willing to resort to such a path in life.
Instead of losing hope, she opted for an alternative approach to succeed in the fish business.
With the assistance of a social organization in 2009, she managed to create a fish pond, officially establishing her Mingfa Fish Farm.
“I later visited the local offices of the Ministry of Fisheries, where, besides receiving further training about this business, they helped me construct another pond,” she explained.
Initially, Buluma purchased 1,000 tilapia fingerlings, which cost her Sh13,000.
“I have no regrets because my first sales gave me a profit of approximately Sh79,000,” she said.
To date, Buluma owns four fish ponds, two of which are already operational. She hopes to harvest fish twice a year with her expanded venture.
Aside from fish farming, Buluma opened a store called Namboboto Aquashop in Busia town in 2010. She sells fish feed and other aquaculture products, addressing the challenge she faced in procuring fish feed. Each time, she had to cross the border to Uganda to buy the necessary supplies.
Utilizing her meager savings and a loan she obtained from a financial lending organization, she managed to establish the store. “In my shop, I sell fish feed and other aquaculture products. We construct and repair fish ponds, and even connect fish farmers with fish markets. My main clients are fish traders not only from Kenya but also from Uganda,” she narrated.
Buluma continues to prosper in her business, which, apart from other benefits, enables her to educate her children up to university level. However, her enterprise has not been without challenges. The primary obstacle she faces is the unpredictable weather patterns due to the impacts of climate change.
“We primarily rely on rainwater for our ponds, meaning that if it doesn’t rain, we encounter problems,” she said.
However, her main challenge initially was the lack of resources, particularly land, to start her business. “It took my husband a while before he allowed me to use his land for the fish farm,” she explained.