A University of Nairobi graduate and entrepreneur, Vincent Oduor has excited many youths in the Fisheries industry with his consistency as CEO of Aquaculture Barn Limited and the company’s continuous growth.
The company was officially registered on April 2022, and currently consists of eight members; The CEO (Vincent Oduor Otieno), the CFO (Margaret Auma Odera), production manager (Ronald Omondi Otieno), sales and marketing manager (Gilbert Ouko Omondi), and four interns. Speaking in an interview, Mr. Oduor expressed that the company’s existence was inspired by the growing unemployment rate among the youth in the country.
What you should know:
- The idea of venturing into aquaculture business originated in 2019 after his graduation, relocation to Kisumu, and inability to secure a job the same year. His interaction with many related tasks, diverse technology, and constant volunteering at the VicInAqua Project, EU Funded project, currently an incubation center in Kisumu, shaped his vision for the company.
- Other youths like him who were in different fisheries and aquaculture-related projects the same year were offered a platform to showcase their interests and build fisheries and aqaculture-related opportunities for themselves by the current Fisheries Director, Kisumu County, at the time Sub-County head of Fisheries in Kisumu East and Central, Madam Susan Adhiambo.
- They created a self-help group (Victoria Aquaculture Youth Group) registered in November 2019. They later saw an opportunity in 2020 during COVID lockdown to aggregate, package and sell fish even in areas outside Kisumu, using efficient courier services. However, with a challenging marketing platform, they soon had many orders with no fish, forcing them to refund money to their customers in 2021 and restructure their organization.
- The FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) of the United Nations aided in the restructuring of their organization through adequate training.
- In February/March 2022, UNICEF helped them improve themselves through a program called “Generation Unlimited” then later, after forwarding their proposal and officially registering their company, Aquaculture Barn Limited, in April 2022, they got funding from UNICEF for the startup.
- Diseases that affected their fish and inadequate expansion space were some of the challenges that limited the company’s growth.
Currently, the company deals with the production, aggregation and supply of fingerlings (Tilapia and Catfish) and are in the market testing stage with ornamental fish such as goldfish and Koi Carp. They also help design and develop fish farming systems and offer training as an extension service. They supply their products all over the country and have now trained and supplied fingerlings to 308 farmers from Kisumu, Siaya, Vihiga, Kakamega, and Kiambu collectively. They have also hosted more than 700 university and college students for internships and field trips from August 2022 to February 2023, while more than 40 high school students visited their firm last year. The company markets its products through referrals, and Mr. Oduor believes that the main future goal of the company is to “increase fish productivity and success of local and medium scale fish farmers and the expert services they offer them.”
The Aquaculture Barn Limited team emerged as the national winner of “Vijana na Agribiz” last year and is currently accessing input from this achievement.
The company is located in Nyalenda, Kisumu, close to KIWASCO treatment lagoons.
Story by Zyppie Akinyi