International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies

Volume 1, Issue 5, 2014


Consumer preference and marketing of farmed Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in Kenya: Case Study of Kirinyaga and Vihiga Counties


Author(s): Kevin O. Obiero, Mary A. Opiyo, Jonathan Mbonge Munguti, Paul S. Orina, Domitila Kyule, Ernest Yongo, Cecilia Muthoni Githukia, Harrison Charo-Karisa

Abstract: Kenya has a great potential for aquaculture growth by producing additional volumes of fish to fill the growing gap in national fish supply, as wild fish catches continue to decline. In order to balance the shortfall between fish production and high increase in demand, the Kenyan government drafted a fiscal policy measure in the form of Economic Stimulus Program (ESP) to stimulate economic growth in the industry. Despite increased aquaculture adoption and subsequent increase in fish supply in the country, little is known about consumer preference of farmed fish products that ultimately may hinder optimization of production and marketing of the aquaculture sub-sector. This study examined factors influencing consumer preferences and marketing trends in the demand for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in Kirinyaga and Vihiga Counties in Kenya. A total of 153 questionnaires were administered to 95 and 58 respondents in Kirinyaga and Vihiga counties respectively. There was no significant difference among the various education levels with regard to their fish buying preferences. Similarly, the different gender groups do not influence the purchase of fish or consumption rates. Tilapia is the most frequently purchased fish in both counties. Over 60% of Kenyan consumers purchase fish mainly from open markets in fresh and fried forms. Fish product attributes such as overall quality, ready availability and taste had the greatest influence on consumer preferences; hence these attributes need to be stressed in market promotional activities. It is therefore recommended that improved marketing through a target-oriented approach of existing customers and attracting new consumers for market penetration will guide the aquaculture industry to improve production and profits.

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