Gambia: Kartong Fish Processers Appeal for Storage Facility

Committed to promoting value chain in fisheries production, women fish processers in Kartong have called on stakeholders to help them with storage facility.

The women strive to make ends meet in dilapidating conditions at the site lamented the need for a storage facility to improve their working conditions as well as to prevent post production losses.

The Kartong fish smoking facility plays a major role in the socio-economic development of the country, enhancing the livelihoods of many. Women engaged in fish smoking at the facility remain vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the degradation of natural resources. In the fisheries sector, the role of women is paramount as they operate at all levels of the value chain.

Amie Jeng, said the structure and their ovens are old, explaining that out of 24, only 6 are functional. According to her, the fish processed at the site is transported to Basse, Tanji and other parts of the country by wholesalers.

Yamundow Touray, Fisheries Field Assistant said the facility being used by women for the past 35 years needs to be refurbished. She said they contribute some amount of money monthly to support and sustain their business.

She explained that no money is allocated to them to run the facility.

Aisatou Bajan-Bojang, Principal Fisheries Assistant at the landing site said the facility was erected by her Department through the European Development Fund aimed at training women on fish smoking.

She stressed the importance of the facility in enhancing the socio-economic wellbeing of beneficiaries.

Madam Bajan-Bojang said they are advocating for the use of modern technology instead of using coconut shells, cartons and firewood which generate a lot of smoke.

She however dispelled rumors about the use of the Sniper chemical by fish smokers.

To meet the challenges of adding value to fisheries resources, women processors at the site benefited from capacity building programmes on good processing practices and techniques as well as good practices for managing the quality and hygiene of fisheries products. These empowerment initiatives enabled women processors to improve their working methods and the quality of their products in enhancing access to market.

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