As part of efforts to further strengthen the fisheries sector of Liberia, the Liberian government is to shortly receive a grant of US$3.1 Million dollars from the Icelandic government.
According to the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority NaFAA, the grant will support the sustainable use and conservation of the oceans, seas and marine resources for development in line with goal 14 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mrs. Emma Glassco mentioned that the grant is aimed at directly supporting the national government’s Pro-poor agenda with specific emphasis on fishing communities in Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties.
The NaFAA’s Boss further narrated that the grant will also finance the establishment of the Liberia’s First International Standardize Competent Laboratory for certification of Fish Products, as well as cold food with the aim of revenue generation.
The lab, she said, “will enable certification of Liberia’s fish products for export to the US, EU, Asia and other regional markets”.
Currently Liberia is exporting over 200 metric tons of fisheries products annually, and those products cannot access markets in the USA and the EU. Therefore, the establishment of the Lab, she noted, more than 100% annual export increment is expected.
Madam Glassco indicated that the project will provide micro-credit program for fishing men and fish mongers from within Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Cape Mount Counties. And at the same time, it will introduce improve fish processing and preservation technology such as the modernized fish oven to reduce post-harvest loss.
In a NaFAA Press Release, Madam Glassco pointed out that the grant will be affecting 7,500 Fishmongers (Fish processors or Fish sellers) by funding modern fish smoke-oven which will improve the current traditional process in drying fish that have both health and environmental challenges.
According to her, the fund will support a program for improved fishing gears for the fishermen benefiting 5,104 Fishermen and will also support programs to improve the Water Sanitation and Hygiene condition in the Fishing communities of three targeted counties and will spread to other coastal counties.
The NaFAA Release added that the grant will provide clean and healthy environment for these communities by constructing latrines, and hand pumps. This will impact the lives of over 5,104 fishermen and their families as well as over 7,500 fish mongers.
She assured that the Icelandic government’s grant will improve capacity for NaFAA Personnel through technical training in fisheries science and fisheries management, as well as ensure that better and healthier quality of fish are produced from the new technology smoke oven.
Meanwhile, the signing ceremony for the US$3.1 Million dollars’ grant is scheduled to take place Friday December 14, 2018 in the conference room of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Board Street Monrovia.