NaFAA hold two days International Consultative Fisheries Meeting on the establishment of AWFISHNET Liberian chapter

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The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has described the role played by Liberian fish sellers (processors) as pivotal to the economic growth of the country’s fisheries sector, adding that fishmongers determine the overall quality of the fish being consumed daily.

Delivering the opening address at the forum on Monday November 1, 2021, Madam Glassco said, the role of Liberian fishmongers (processors) in the fisheries sector is critical to the sustainability of the economy, but pointed out that “they are vulnerable”.

Speaking at the occasion attended by several processors and fish-farmers from across Montserrado County among others, the country’s fisheries management body boss added that women play a crucial role in ensuing food security, meeting nutritional requirements and sustaining the livelihoods of their families and communities and as such they determine the quality of fish eaten.

Despite the significant role played in the sector, Madam Glassco indicated that women are faced with daunting challenges including the absence of relevant tools and technical skills to enhance productivity, while identifying cultural practices and tradition as major barriers to the acquisition of land for fish farming.

“However, with all the importance women are to the sector, they are still faced with enormous challenges, such as lack of modern processing techniques, making them to work in hazardous condition, lack of preservation and cold storage facilities and transportation. Also, women in fishing are even more challenged, as they have to face cultural practices and traditions that denied them access to land for their farms”.

She informed the gathering that the enormous challenges are reasons for the organization of the network of women fish farmers and processors. According to her, the organization is established to primarily focus on enhancing women in fish processing, fish sale and fish farming capabilities and potential for sustainable and equitable development, food security, poverty eradication and safeguarding of the environment. She added that the Liberian government through NaFAA will provide the necessary support to addressing some of the challenges.

The opening of the gathering was graced by representatives of the African Union Inter-Africa Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and African Women Fish Processors and Trade Network (AWFISHNET) Mrs. Funmilola Shelika and Dr. Annie Lewa respectively. The two will facilitate the formation of the network Liberia chapter.

Meanwhile, AWFISHNET is a Non-For-Profit, non-political and non-religious network that focuses to enhancing women’s capabilities and potential for sustainable and equitable development, food security, poverty eradication and safeguarding of the environment. It a platform that seeks to strengthen women fish workers position and contribute to the SDGs and continental agenda of ending hunger in Africa and halving poverty by the year 2025, given their key role as active players in a fisheries sector and of African society in line with existing national, regional and global instruments, policies and strategies. The network exists as a coordinating body for all its members involved in fish processing and trade in Africa. Members use the network as a consultative mechanism to strengthen institutional coordination with respect to matters that affect their interest as women fish processors and traders at national, regional and globally.

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