The fisheries minister Derek Klazen said in terms of policy, the government wants to achieve at least 20.4kg of fish consumption per person per year within this financial year.
Klazen said this on Friday when he launched the 10th National Fish Consumption Day to mark the official opening of the activities such as school activations, school tournaments, fish sale promotion and market day.
Klazen said every year, Namibia Fishing Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) raises funds for regional educational development purposes in the host Region through the National Fish Consumption Day initiative.
According to Klazen, if people consume 20.4kg of fish per year, this translates to about 47,000 MT consumed within Namibia.
Ultimately, the minister added, at least 30% of horse mackerel’s
total allowable catch, or about 100,000MT, would be sold locally.
This policy objective is informed by the fact that fish of sale locally will stimulate economic activities, leading to enterprise development.
Klazen further said this 100,000MT of fish would be sold in fish shops and on our streets by Namibians.
“Some fish will be dried, some smoked, and some fish will be frozen, while others will be in canned form. All these value addition activities will create jobs for Namibians and thus will unlock the value of our fish in villages far away from the ocean,” he said.
The minister said the NFCPT collects the funds during the gala dinner, and the Trust procures school items needed by the host Region through the Regional Authority.
“I am informed that since the gala dinner donations started nine years ago, NFCPT and stakeholders have raised over N$5 million, which was utilised to address educational and social needs in those regions,” Klazen said.
According to Klazen, the NFCPT corporate social responsibility (CSR) the initiative is by no means the only way the fishing industry shares the benefits of the fisheries to the wider Namibian community.
He said the industry pays fishing levies, quota fees and taxes, which are in turn distributed through the National Budget to all regions in the country to build roads, schools, hospitals, and other developments.
Klazen said the NFCPT is established in all parts of our country by establishing fish shops in all regions and that it partnered with the Namibia University of Science and Technology’s Business Innovation Institute (NBII) to assist with conducting and implementing the training and recruitment of fish distribution agents.
“The project is at a trial stage, and once found viable. It will not only increase the accessibility of fish to the Namibian population through partnership with potential agents who will be able to take fish to towns and localities where NFCPT does not have fish shops but will allow participants to gain knowledge in business administration through capacity building by NBII,” Klazen said.
The minister said phase one aims to capacitate the potential start-ups, SMEs and other retailers with growth potential to establish and grow businesses in the retail fish business.
The capacity-building training in the pilot phase will be hosted in selected towns, namely, Ruacana, Helao Nafidi, Divundu, Epukiro, Okahandja and Oranjemund.