WINDHOEK – The Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) unveiled its more than N$4.8 million Wanaheda fish shop on Friday, which is part of the institution’s aim of encouraging Namibians to eat more fish. Namibians currently eat about 11kg of fish per person per year, which is significantly lower than the world average of 21.4kg per person per year. Besides the nutritional benefits of consuming fish, the increased local sale of fish also promotes enterprise development in both rural and urban areas.
“This shop is targeted at serving the constituents of the Wanaheda township and beyond. Furthermore, this fish shop aims to provide much-needed and cost-effective fish, and in doing so is bringing fish much closer to the people at grass-roots level for an inclusive society,” said Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Sylvia Makgone.
The new Wanaheda fish shop, which has six staff members, was necessitated by an increased demand for fish. The shop consists of three offices, a canteen, retail area, fish processing area, cold storage and chemical room.
This latest shop joins 15 other NFCPT shops in 12 regions, which collectively employ 134 people. During the 2017/18 financial year, the NFCPT shops distributed close to seven tonnes of fish throughout the country.
“When fish is made available our people are able to set up fish shops, process dried, smoked and otherwise transformed fish and hence generate household income which greatly helps in our fight against poverty … We have a deliberate policy to encourage more consumption of fish nationally. Indeed, we need the foreign exchange that comes from our fish exports. However, we equally wish to encourage a culture of fish eating in Namibia.” “We are driven by the need to have a healthy and well-nourished population and also use local consumption to unlock enterprise development and the potential of our fish in communities, which will have a spin-off impact on our objective of ensuring national food security, as articulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Vision 2030 of the national development plans,” Esau added.
Officiating at the Wanaheda shop’s inauguration, NFCPT board chairperson, Suzan Hambelela, said the Trust has actively embarked on ensuring a desired consumption of 21.4kg per capita. “This vision casted can only be achieved through strategic smart partnerships with institutions both within the fishing sector and those supporting industries to the sector. I am confident that we will achieve these aspirations within our lifetime,” said Hambelela.
Also present at the opening was Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua, who welcomed the substantial investment as a confidence booster and encouraged the uptake of development opportunities available within the city.
“We stand to reap great rewards through the injection of employment and enterprise opportunities of which the opening of this fish shop is an example. The opening of this fish shop is surely commendable as it contributes to the socio-economic advancement of our people in terms of employment creation and bringing services closer to the masses,” he said.