Pushing for increased fish consumption

The selling of fish locally can contribute towards the fight to eradicate poverty.

04 August 2019 | Ministries

Bernard Esau; Minister; “…value addition activities, and trading, will create jobs for Namibians and unlock the value of our fish in villages far away from the ocean.

Government wants to achieve at least 20.4 kg fish consumption per person per year within the current financial year.

The Namibian Fish Consumption Trust in collaboration with the line ministry is currently conducting a research to determine the per capita fish consumption.

This exercise is being conducted with support from industry partners, in order to determine the positive contribution of the NFCT towards enhanced increase per capita fish consumption to date and ensuring the achievement of the desired consumption target of 20.4 kg per person per year.

“This translates to about 47 000 MT consumed within Namibia. Ultimately, we would like to see at least 30% of the horse mackerel TAC, or about 100 000 MT being sold locally in fish shops and in our streets by Namibians,” says the minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernard Esau.

He explained this policy objective is informed by the fact that selling fish locally is an enterprise development initiative.

“Some of the fish being sold will be dried, smoked, fresh/frozen, while some of it will be in canned form. These value addition activities, and trading, will create jobs for Namibians and unlock the value of our fish in villages far away from the ocean. In addition, our people will be eating healthy proteins and this will lead to a healthy population.”

Esau said this was actually what happens to Namibian fish being exported, including to neighbouring countries.

“It creates many jobs for women and youth in the destination countries, and we would like to do the same here. Fortunately, we have enough fish to export, and also trade domestically. I am keen to continue to promote exports of fish, so that we may bring it much needed forex for our economy. The livelihoods of our people however matter the most and we must unlock as much value of our fish in Namibia as possible.”

The minister recounted that some time ago when he started the campaign for domestic fish consumption, several companies were unwilling to sell fish locally, even if the money was available to pay for it.

“This was very frustrating for our local traders who wanted to establish businesses of selling fish locally, because they could not get fish. I am happy to note that, following policy intervention, this has now changed, and we are monitoring volumes of fish sold by right holders locally to ensure that Namibians who want to trade fish locally have access to fish.”

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