About 68 value chain actors have been trained and introduced to modern fish processing techniques by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Centre (ACIAR).
The value chain actors were trained through NutriFish project.
According to Dr Jackson Efitre, the principal investigator NutriFish project, the training has increased women’s access to financial resources.
Betty Mercy Timbe, a female champion at Ntoroko landing site on Lake Albert, has been able to mobilize 11 women into forming a fishing group.
“Previously, women had to buy fish from other fish mongers who would determine who got what number of fish, but now, we own seven boats and since coming together, we have been able to enhance our earnings from various fish-trading activities. We are using the income to meet our family needs and expand our businesses,” Timbe said.
According to Efitre, the modern fish processing techniques have fought post-harvest losses and boosted small fish farming.
He revealed that the project has also introduced a solar tent dryer to reduce post-harvest losses for fish processors.
“This innovation has tripled the shelf-life of dried small fish from 6-8 weeks for the open sun-dried to nearly 5 months and doubled incomes for women processors ($1-2 per kilogram),’’ Efitre said.
He added that the project is also promoting a range of other innovations, including simple plastic containers able to drain excess water during fish harvesting, the use of salt to preserve the fish, and the use of improved packaging bags for storage to reduce fish spoilage.