FAO, govt to address post harvest fish loss | Land Portal
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FISHERMEN in Lake Tanganyika lose between 50 and 70 percent of fish catch due to post-harvest fish losses, fisheries experts have said.

Director General of Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) Dr. Ismael Kimirei said many
fishermen get huge loss because they don’t have proper handling, processing and storage facilities right from the net to the market.

He said during sunny, the losses range beyween 40 to 50 percent but during cloudy and rainy, the losses go up to 70 percent.

He was speaking during the validation workshop of the unlocking the Potential of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean,  and the Pacific: Lake Tanganyika sardinem sprat, and perch value chain in Tanzania (FISH4ACP project).

“If they delay for some time, the fish develops a kind of afflatoxin so easily and become
destroyed. The fishermen loose fish because of poor storage, poor handling, at landing, during
transport and at drying sites,” he said.

Dr. Kimirei asked the fishermen, kigoma residents and the prvate sector to cooperate so that the project can provide desired fruits on the ground.

Fish petty trader at Kibilizi fish Market, Majaliwa Matero said that the fish get destroyed because of lack of capital to improve handling, processing storage and drying facilities.

“I request the government to facilitate credits and soft loans so that we can improve fishing gears and processing facilities,” he said.

Commenting on measures to be taken, the government through the Director of aquaculture in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr. Nazael Madallah said the government is trying to improve post harvest handling facilities by rehabilitating landing sites. He said it is not easy to do all at once but every financial year, the government sets aside some funds for rehabilitation purposes. In other places, the government is constructing new landing sites to get sure that when fish get the land they are handled properly.

Another thing, we are encouraging fishermen to come into cooperatives so that they can be able to go to financial institution and get credit and loans facilitation. We have private sector desk at our Ministry which has responsibility and mandate of promoting formation of cooperatives of fishermen, processors, fish farmers and many others,” he said.

He said when the fishermen are in cooperatives, the fishermen can go to the bank and get money to support development of their fishing activities.

“At the moment we are pushing that money to be invested in post harvest handling equipments, machines and cold rooms. We want to make sure that we do not only reduce spoilage or losses but also fishery products are of higher quality, ” he added.

He said normally the fish starts deterioration immediately when they are taken out of the water. Under best practises, they are supposed to be chilled. The fishermen are supposed to go with
ice, cool boxes and cold chain, when the fish land, they are supposed to be processed, and taken
to the market.

He said the government is encouraging construction of better drying facilities so that the fish when they reach the land, they are not dried on the ground to maintain its quality.

When it rains again its a problem. So we are pushing post harvest electricity and solar driers facilities for drying the sprat, sardine and perch. So that is in the direction which the government is taking" he said.

The government is also encouraging establishment of small enterprises and industries for value addition to qualify for the local and international markets.

Briefing on the project FAO's National Professionale Officer responsible for Fisheries, and Aquaculture Value Chain, Hashim Muumin said the FISH4ACP project is a fisheries project being implemented by the Food and Sgriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MLF). The project will concentrate on improving the value chain of Lake Tanganyika's fisheries.

Tanzania the five year project is financed by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by FAO.


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