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African countries told to embrace regional fish trade

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th November 2015 12:56 PM

African countries have been advised to promote fish trade if Africa is to improve her food and nutritional security and reduce poverty among its people.

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A farmer harvests fish from a cage

African countries have been advised to promote fish trade if Africa is to improve her food and nutritional security and reduce poverty among its people.


By Prossy Nandudu

African countries have been advised to promote fish trade if Africa is to improve her food and nutritional security and reduce poverty among its people.

This is because fish trade has been a mainstay of economies in many African countries and communities, according to Patrick Nalere, the regional director of WorldFish Africa.

This has further been complicated by the complexity of rules and regulations governing intra-regional trade, lack of business and marketing skills among fish farmers, high transport costs, and unpredictable trade regimes among others.

Nalere said that practice is preventing African fishers, fish farmers and traders from optimizing the benefits from fish trade in the region.

This was at the just concluded 6th Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security meeting held in Kampala under the theme “Empowering our Women, Securing our Food, and improving our Nutrition” at speke resort Munyonyo.

Nalere said studies by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that fisheries and aquaculture sector create a lot of jobs, supplies food and supports livelihoods of close of 2% of the economically active population of Africans.

This means that  states in Africa that depend on fish as a major source of food, may not achieve the African Union commitment of ending hunger and stunted growth by 2025 if fish is not mainstreamed in National food security planning strategies.

 “It is clear that despite major initiatives to promote fisheries development and intra-regional trade, sub-Saharan Africa still faces challenges in boosting fish trade, especially intra-regional trade to serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation,” said Nalera.

He said that the Fish Trade Program aims to improve food and nutritional security in sub-Saharan Africa by enhancing capacities of regional organizations to support member states to better integrate intra-regional fish trade into their development and food security policy agendas.

WorldFish,an international research organization that harnesses fisheries and aquaculture, is  implementing  the  European-Union funded Fish Trade program, called “Improving Food Security and Reducing Poverty through intra-regional Fish Trade in sub-Saharan Africa”, supported by  African Union Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the NEPAD Agency.

According to the assistant commissioner, Fisheries Joyce Ikwaput-Nyeko, fish contributes to 12% of Agricultural sector GDP and between 2.8% to the national GDP.  

Fish exports from Uganda as of 2014 show that Uganda exported 14,735.65 tonnes of fish worth $109.82m a drop from 18,558.07 tons worth $113.93m in 2013.          

Nyeko however notes that there was a decline in the quantity of fish exports because of the rise in trade in fish maws.

 

African countries told to embrace regional fish trade

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