Utilization of by-products and cleaner production in industrial nile perch processing in Kenya
Wairangu, E. M.
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The Lake Victorian Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) industry in Kenya is the most important in the fisheries sub-sector and generates significant levels of revenue to the national economy besides creating employment opportunities along the value chain. In 2012, fish production from Lake Victoria-Kenyan waters was 118,992 metric tons with an ex-vessel value of USD 136 million. Information on the utilization of by-products and cleaner production is very important as the industry plays a significant role in the economic and social development in the country. It improves and attracts export market. The main products from processing are chilled or frozen NP fillets exclusively destined for the export market. The processing further produces vast amounts of by-products. The aim of the study was to find out factors that influence the utilization of by-products and Cleaner Production in the Nile Perch processing industry. A descriptive study design was employed to carry out the study qualitatively. The target for the study were the employees and traders of three NP fish processing plants based in Homa Bay, Kisumu and Nairobi in Kenya. The study was carried out between the months of May 2012 to February 2013. The methodology involved the use of structured questionnaires and interviews to a sample of 254 study subjects from a population of 660.The objective of the study was to find the factors that contribute or hinder the utilization of byproducts and the Cleaner production in the industry. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS and EXCEL computer packages and the results were presented in form of figures and charts. The results of this study indicated that the yield on skin-on fillets was at 50%, skinless fillets 42% and for headless and gutted fish 69%. There were several by-products produced by the Nile perch fish processing plants, and these included fish maws, fish frames, skins, scales, viscera, fish pads and proteinous thick liquid. Cleaner production was employed by the Nile Perch processing plants to a large extent but had not been documented. The NP processing plants greatly influence the utilization of by-products. Cleaner production practices were implemented in the NP processing plants and there was a statistically significant relationship between utilization of by-products and Cleaner production in NP processing plants in Kenya. Various factors were tested to have negative significant association with utilization of by products that included lack of expertise with a correlation of -0.716, lack of appropriate technologies with -0.874, financial constraints with -0.624, lack of markets, -0.559, lack of raw materials with -0.547 and poor management practices with -0.738 correlation coefficient. Utilization of by-products and cleaner production can help reduce the reported negative effects of improper waste disposal of thick waste by the plants to the environment, human and animal lives. Measures to improve the CP included controlling the valves, use of foot operated taps, use of water holding tanks and bins during processing, use of adjusted pipes, meter recording, supervision, use of high pressurized pipes as well as the use of low pressure pipes. It is therefore recommended that all Nile Perch processing plant should adopt measures that enable successful utilization of the byproducts and integrate CP in their operations.