FAO wants to encourage Ivorians to invest in the fisheries sector

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has decided to build the capacity of 175 small-scale fishing entities in Côte d’Ivoire to encourage Ivorians to invest in this sector dominated by foreign communities.

Presenting a value chain analysis of tuna landed in Lokojro (West Abidjan) and sardinella in Sassandra (South West Ivory Coast), FAO’s National Consultant on the Fisheries Value Chain, Dr Labla Diomande, noted that marine fisheries are dominated by Ghanaians, while on the coast – Malians.

Therefore, the price of fish is set by these foreign communities, and sometimes large quantities are exported from the country. According to Dr Lable, in Sassandra, the Queen Mother of the Ghanaian community, who finances the fishing activities of her subjects, sets the price of the fish.

He explained that there are three organizations in Ghana: a community organization, a fishermen’s organization and a women’s association. The Fishermen’s and Women’s Association, of which the Queen Mother is president, “sets the base price (of fish) at the beginning of the season.”

Serge Donald Deleuze, Deputy Director of Fisheries Supervision at the Ivorian Fisheries Authority, noted that Ivorians do not seek to turn artisanal fishing into an economic activity. Fishermen practice fishing as a means of livelihood.

This FAO project is part of the West African Coastal Fisheries Initiative (IPC-WA) and covers three countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cape Verde. It aims to popularize the sector and train players to be true entrepreneurs capable of transforming this sector with strong economic potential.

The National Technical Committee (CNT), the monitoring body of the IPC-AO project, led by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries of Côte d’Ivoire, organized this Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Abidjan the second meeting of 2022 to share with partners and stakeholders by the parties during the last semester.

This is for the purpose of conducting an interim review of the annual work plan of the National Technical Committee for 2022 and collecting recommendations. Two studies were presented on the occasion, the first of which was a gender-sensitive analysis of a value chain with technologies that reduce the labor intensity and impact of mangrove wood use.

The second study aimed to explore market opportunities and develop market strategies for selected products in close collaboration with artisanal processors and retailers.

“Under the West African Coastal Fisheries Initiative (IPC-AO) project piloted by FAO, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Inades-Formation and FAO to support participants in capacity building,” he said. Mr. Alphonse Kwame, Food Systems Project Manager at the African Institute for Economic and Social Development (Inades-Formation), the organization responsible for the training.

According to Mr. Kouame, who represented Inades-Formation at the meeting, an international association that is represented in ten African countries and based in Côte d’Ivoire, this training, which involves all actors in the artisanal fisheries value chain, aims on fishermen, fish traders, processors, butchers, on the sites of Lokojro and Sassandra.

According to him, “a total of 175 actors will be trained” at the Lokojro marina and the fishing site of Sassandra, a seaside town located 280 km from Abidjan. Training should also enable cooperatives to prepare for participation in tenders.

After identifying training needs, Inades-Formation decided to highlight the following modules: “issues of empowerment, professionalization, entrepreneurship (since this is a sector with high economic potential), cooperation with donors, simplified accounting and business plan development,” he noted.

The training will also focus on “developing an investment plan, issues of an ecosystem approach to fisheries to ensure sustainable management of natural resources, specific gender issues, women’s leadership, access to credit and the issue of the cooperative as a business entity.” “, he continued.

The IPC-WA National Project Administrator, Mr. Abubakar Kone, noted that FAO is targeting capacity building, food security and empowerment of women who are estimated to be 99% post-harvest, stressing that the training will take place “at the end of September beginning October 2022″, the period corresponding to the short fishing season (off-season).

FAO supports the State of Côte d’Ivoire in the implementation of the fisheries sector development policy. The Coastal Fisheries Initiative (IPC-AO) is a $6 billion project funded by the Global Environment Facility for Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cape Verde.