SENEGAL –Senegal has a new fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth to help players in the artisanal fishing industry reap more from their catch.
The facility’s launch was presided over by Pape Sagna Mbaye, the Minister of Fisheries and the Maritime Economy, reports the local daily Seneplus.
The Senegalese Shippers’ Council spent a total of about US$900,000 on the construction and fitting out of the new unit (COSEC), according to a report by Agence Ecofin.
The new unit will have 7 storage warehouses, 5 sheds with a total of 53 improved and conventional ovens for smoking fish, and administrative buildings across 0.63 hectares of land.
Senegal is a place where fishing is more than a way of life – it’s a major source of food, revenue and pride- making the project all the more important.
Fish dominates the plates of the Senegalese population and it’s the key ingredient in the national dish of ceebu jën (“rice with fish” in Wolof).
The Senegalese eat up to 35 kilograms (77 pounds) of fish each year, accounting for up to 75 percent of the nation’s animal protein intake.
Fishing puts food on the table in more ways than one as it not only contributes 3.2 percent of the nation’s GDP but also accounts for about 10 percent of all exports and 17 percent of the country’s labour force.
In a country where employment is scarce, especially outside major urban centres, the wider fishing industry – from boatbuilders and fishermen to fishmongers and market traders – directly and indirectly employs some 600,000 people.
With Joal-Fadiouth town being one of the major fishing centers in Senegal, the impact would be threefold, particularly for women who constitute a major portion of the workforce.
“The choice of Joal to host this fish processing area is not fortuitous, as the locality is home to one of the largest artisanal fishing ports in the country ,” said Pape Sagna Mbaye, the Minister of Fisheries and the Maritime Economy.
According to executive data, about 30,000 tons of dried fish and other fish products are processed annually in the city for an estimated value of US$52.7 million.
One of the other several objectives of this project is to strengthen the competitiveness of the fish and seafood industry in the European export market.
Sustainable production will also be prioritized, and obstacles to export marketing will be removed, as part of this project.
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