TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government and the Tanzania Fishing Corporation (TAFICO) have unveiled multi-million dollar plans that seek to boost the country’s fish industry.

TAFICO has announced a US$1.1 million investment plan in the country to increase sea fish imports by 30% from the current 30,000 tonnes annually in 5 years.

According to the Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Prof Riziki Shemdoe, the funds to boost the initiative were secured from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“With the funds, TAFICO will acquire a new 22-metre long fishing vessel with a capacity of 90 tonnes for deep sea fishing,” he said.

He added that the funds will also be used for the cold storage warehouses and the purchase of refrigerated vehicles.

The government has also committed US$1.4 million in the financial year 2023/2024 for the revival of TAFICO and to boost its economic growth, Shemdoe pointed out.

“The government plans to promote the development of the fishing industry and ensure fishing operations extend to the Tanzanian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and beyond to capitalise on the richness of the deep-sea fishery,” he added.

Backing on his previous statement, Prof Shemdoe said the Tanzanian government is determined to invest more to benefit from deep sea fishing adding that TAFICO has various projects to be implemented in phases in its 10-year plans that will help to boost GDP and create about 20,000 job opportunities.

“TAFICO will engage in purchasing fish from small-scale fisheries, add value to them and sell them to local and foreign markets.”

Further, in efforts to address post-harvest losses, TAFICO will establish sardine and small pelagic fish processing projects to dry about 80 to 100 tonnes of sardines per month.

Previously, the government had also unveiled its plan to start a knowledge centre for learning agriculture and fisheries in Tanzania utilizing the abundant wealth through opportunities arising from these sectors.

“Our country will be a knowledge centre for learning agriculture and fishing for East African countries due to the huge investments done by the government in these sectors,” it stated.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in livestock and fisheries have expressed satisfaction with the ministry’s budget for 2023/2024, suggesting that a road map be established to ensure that the priorities are carried out as intended.

In his budget speech, Minister Abdalah Ulega highlighted several priorities for the ministry to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s economic growth.

Fishers Union Organisation (FUO) also welcomed the ministry’s budget, urging that a large part of the money should be channelled to fight illegal fishing on Lake Victoria.

FUO Executive Director, Mr Juvenary Matagili said that the fight against illegal fishing should be intensified to restrict the use of locally made sardines fishing lamps which also contribute to water pollution.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.