30 Aug 2019 16:40pm
ONGWEDIVA, 30 AUG (NAMPA) - Oshana Governor Elia Irimari says fish consumption centres need to be extended to rural areas, especially at constituency level, so beneficiaries do not have to travel to Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa to buy fish.
Irimari said this in a speech delivered on his behalf during a talk on fish consumption held on the sidelines of the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair here on Friday.
Extension of the Ongwediva Fish Consumption Centre to the rural communities is important in terms of creating market access for small businesses to acquire fish and other products for resale at their businesses, the governor said.
He further expressed hope that the fishing sector will continue to maintain the status quo as the second biggest export earner of foreign currency and the third largest economic sector.
Executive Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Moses Maurihungirire in responding to a question at the same event said Namibia at the moment has no depletion of fish species and the country harvests about half a million tonnes of fish annually.
Since we have a lot of fish and we do not eat consume it all, we export and sell it to earn foreign currency, which is good for economic upliftment and the development of the country, Maurihungirire said.
He however admitted that the demand for fish in northern Namibia is high, compared to other parts of the country.
In Ongwediva people queue up in long queues, the demand is really high and as such the Ongwediva fish shop sometimes run out of stock, he said.
The ministry through its Fish Consumption Promotion Trust owns and operates 17 fish shops in 13 regions and plans are at an advanced stage to open a fish shop in Otjozondjupa in March next year.
The trust conducts monthly regional fish promotion events to supplement existing fish shops, to make fish accessible and also impart skills on how to prepare and cook different fish dishes.
Maurihungirire said in this financial year, the trust has regional fish promotions in Zambezi, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Khomas and the exercise will be rolled out to all regions in the near future.