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Improving livelihoods through exporting artisanally processed fish.









Diei-Ouadi, Y.; Mensah, M.E. Improving livelihoods through exporting artisanally processed fish. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 998. Rome, FAO. 2005. 35p.


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    Book (stand-alone)
    Inland small-pelagic fisheries utilization options, marketing and opportunities for support 2012
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    The fisheries sector contributes greatly to the economies of the eastern, central and southern regions of Africa (ECSA) in terms of income, employment and export revenue. Until recently, only large-sized fish were exploited for human consumption but small-sized pelagic fish were used for animal feed production. However, in the last decade, concerted efforts have been made in various African countries to reverse the trend. For example in 2005, an FAO led study assessed post-harvest losses in one of the abundant small-sized pelagic fisheries (Rastrineobola argentea), in the East Africa states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In 2011, Uganda through the Department of Fisheries Resources (DFR), requested FAO under the Technical Corporation Programme (TCP) to address the question of high post-harvest losses in the fishery and improvement of upstream handling against a backdrop of declining per capita consumption trends. Under this programme, several products were developed to increase Rastrin eobola argentea, locally called Mukene, for human consumption. The SMARTFISH Programme, with funding from the European Union (EU) built on previous efforts by initiation of the present study that has been designed to look at increased utilization options to enhance cross-border trade in small pelagics. As a test case, products from Brycinus nurse (Ragoge) and Neobola bredoi (Musiri) commonly found in Lake Albert of Uganda were developed together with potential Ugandan processors and the economic ally viable products were marketed in neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda to gauge their marketability. Using a structured questionnaire with some input from the Trade Event Specialist, some potential regional traders tasked to evaluate their prospects. Prior to product development, information was gathered on all aspects of the Musiri and Ragoge fishery, including the sanitary status of fishing vessels, time of capture, daily catches, drying surfaces, storage facilities, packaging, wholesale operatio ns as well as markets and transportation. The sand-free sundried products, powdered and fried products were promoted for regional markets. As a complementary study, the nutrient content of products from both fish species was determined for purposes of backstopping the three up-graded processors who were at different levels of development. The regional market opportunities surveyed indicated that there was an insatiable demand for all products made from small-sized pelagics ranging from sun-dried to powdered. The large quantities demanded by the regional markets could not be met by processors using traditional processing methods and operating at a small-scale. It was also evident that product quality was a determinant factor in product pricing. The cost of sand-free products was one and a half times more than adulterated products which underscore the influence of consumers in the market place. There were other external drivers that are likely to enhance regional trade of the identified value-added products from Uganda. They included population increases, regional geo-economic and political blocks, carbohydrate-based diets, nutritional properties of fish and civil strife or wars. During the implementation of the present study, there were two major challenges namely; seasonality of the two species under scrutiny and the competence of local processors to be up-graded to standards required by the regional as well as international markets. Both factors slowed down the implementatio n process because unplanned exposure visits and training had to be conducted to improve the competence of potential processors under the up-grading SMARTFISH scheme. In conclusion, there was an insatiable demand in the region for all products made from small-sized pelagic fishes from Uganda and trade in such products can be enhanced in the region with concerted effort from all key actors along the value-chain, improved upstream handling, broadened utilization base, consumption campaigns and enfo rcement of quality and safety standards. However, implementation of some intervention measures cited would require harmonized policies across national borders, substantial investment in the sector, sensitization of key actors with regard to market requirements and goodwill among policy enforcers at border crossings.
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    Regional fish trade in Eastern and Southern Africa: products and markets. A Fish Traders Guide 2012
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    Fish Trade is a major commodity exchange that makes fish to be the cheapest source of animal protein in Eastern and Southern Africa, particularly within the Great Lakes Region. The countries within the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) Region agreed to a common strategy to increase the level of social, economic and environmental development and deepen regional integration through the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources. The Program for Implementation of a Regional Fisheries Strategy (IRFS Program) for ESA-IO was launched in February 2011 with Regional Fisheries Trade as one of the five components. The other four components are Fisheries governance, Fisheries management, Monitoring, Control and Surveillance and Food Security. IRFS Program is coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) on behalf of the Member States within the ESA-IO region. Fish trade across borders or frontiers is an old profession in Africa, which was done to facilitate distant com munities to access fish, which was mainly in smoked and sundried/salted form. Trade in East and Southern Africa has increased to cover countries within and outside the region, providing the population with access to fish preserved and processed through industrial and artisanal methods. The range of products has also expanded to include chilled, frozen, and canned fishery products in addition to fresh, salted, sundried, smoked and deep-fried products. The market outlets have also grown from the s olitary fish monger to specialised agents, specialised fish shops, retail stores and supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. The consumers’ demand for better quality products brings on board the quality and safety issue prompting the countries to establish Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards for fish and fishery products. Harmonising trade measures provides a freer market for Fish Traders within the same trade or economic bloc. It also provides opportunities for bilateral arrangements between nei ghbouring countries in dissimilar trade blocs. The conditions under which the regional fish trade operates vary from countries with moderate infrastructure, established measures, well packaged and labelled consignments to those with rudimentary facilities, inadequate measures, and poorly transacted business with high Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fish trade. The Fish Traders Guide primarily focuses on freshwater fishes from the Great Lakes region. It provides information on the various asp ects of the different fish types or species, fishery products and markets to enable the fish trader to plan and make informed decision. The guide encourages the trader to conduct legal trade and seek technical advice from relevant authorities. It also provides tips on qualities of a successful fish trader and successful business. The guide is neither a legal document nor an instruction material. However, it is a sensitisation instrument to promote responsible fish trading practices. It is IOC ai m to promote wise-use of the fisheries resources, increase in per capita fish consumption and increased accessibility of fish and fishery products by the population within the ESA-IO region. Responsible fish trading practices adhere to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which is central to the sustainability of fisheries resources. Good trading practices discourage illegal fishing methods and promote optimal utilisation of the catches through value addition, improved processing a nd reduction of post-harvest losses.
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    A study of the trade in smoked-dried fish from West Africa to the United Kingdom. 2003
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    The quantity of smoked fish from West Africa entering the United Kingdom is estimated to be in the region of 500 tonnes per year with a retail value of £5.8 to £9.35 million. Approximately 120 tonnes arrives by airfreight, a significant proportion of the remainder is thought to be entering as accompanied baggage and product is also arriving overland from mainland Europe. Nigeria currently exports approximately 5 tonnes of smoked fish per month as airfreight - 60 tonnes per annum. Most of this is via Gatwick Airport. The other major exporting countries are Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Approximately 1 in 4 consignments of air freighted smoked fish are detained for some reason at port of entry. Of these 70% are destroyed. This is approximately 17.5% of consignments and equivalent to 20 tonnes of product with a retail value of £240 000 to £390 000. The main reasons for detention are:Packaging is inadequate – re-used computer or TV boxes, in poor condition, newspaper or baskets are used for packing the fish; Insect infestation;Establishment number stapled on the box rather than written on; Health certificates not filled in correctly; Smoked fish included among other goods and not declared. Draft best practice guidelines have been drawn up focusing on the control of insect infestation, mould growth, the use of correct packaging and the preparation and processing of necessary paperwork for export/import.

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