Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-The Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) has sold 6645 metric tonnes of fish during 2016/2017 financial year. The amount of fish sold more than double from what the trust sold previously. The fish sold is the horse mackerel, hake and snoek, said the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau during NFCPT’s annual Fish Consumption Day launch that took place on Friday.
“This is progress in our efforts to make fish available so that equal beneficiation takes place. The aim of NFCPT is to make fish available, accessible and affordable to all Namibians regardless in which region they reside,” Esau said during the launch.
The trust sell fish at affordable prices to ensure that all Namibians have access to the country’s natural resource.
The annual Fish consumption Day is scheduled for the Kavango East region and will take place at the public open space at Nkurenkuru on 21 October.
To date NFCPT is visible throughout 12 regions with 16 retail outlets in towns such as Mariental, Opuwo, Lüderitz Keetmanshoop, and Eenhana. The trust employs 140 people.
Esau reiterated that the country’s national fish consumption target is 160 000 metric tonnes. Hence he said that NFCPT’s distribution during 2016/2017 represents only about 4 per cent of the country’s national target.
“The task ahead of us is to feed Namibians with sufficient amounts of fish and this requires a public private partnership. Even though we will continue to facilitate NFCPT to sell more fish to economically vulnerable members of our society, we expect the trust to come up with well thought strategies partnering with the private sector to achieve this national goal,” Esau said.
The minister then applauded NFCPT and the fishing industry for their various efforts on fisheries enterprise development in rural areas .
“This is highly encouraged and I am excited to note the efforts being made on value addition activities such as canned horse mackerel. I would also like to remind NFCPT that they are not in competition with other fishing industry stakeholders and should rather work together to facilitate national fish consumption,” he said.
Also speaking at the same event, the Chairperson of NFCPT Board, Katrina Shikeni said that since its establishment in 2001 the trust matured from being a project to becoming a full-fledged business entity. She added that the positive growth an sustainability of the entity is clearly visible in the continuous increase of its assets value, which now stands at N$117 million having grown from a mere N$3.2 million.