The patterns and trends of marketing and consumption of the fish of Lake Victoria (Kenya waters)

Abila, Richard O. (1998)

Over 90% of Kenya's fish is produced from Lake Victoria, its principle source of fish for domestic consumption and for export. The three fish species of most economic importance are Lates niloticus, Rastrineobola argentea and Oreochromis species. The structure and performance of the marketing system for each of these species differs depending on certain market features such as marketing history and the infrastructural development of fish landing beaches, the type of processed product. the organisation and distribution of marketing middlemen, the location and size of consumer markets and product supply and demand factors. This paper\oroadly examines historical aspects, current status and trends in the marketing and consumption of these three fish species and forecasts future patterns It assesses the structure of fish marketing channels and the organisation and functions of marketing middlemen Demand and price issues in the fish industry are also discussed. Results indicate important changes in the marketing and consumption patterns of Lake Victoria's fish. The fishery has evolved from a traditionally subsistence venture to highly commercial industry with profit maximization objectives. Marketing channels have expanded to include capital-intensive industrial fish processors targeting the export market. Consumer fish prices have increased by more than 10% in the last decade causing shifts in demand. There has been a general shift from domestic consumption of high quality Nile Perch and tilapia to the low grade by-products of Nile perch filleting




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