Obstacles To The Development Of Small Scale Fish Trade In West Africa
Background information is presented of the importance of the artisanal fisheries sector in West Africa in terms of income and employment generation, foreign exchange earning and as a major supplier of animal protein to low income urban dwellers and the rural poor. Processing methodologies of smoking, salting/drying and fermentation is still traditional although improved technologies are being introduced and gradually adopted and coupled with a few semi-industrial processors to produce a final product with preferred tastes and market preferences. West Africa artisanal fisheries could benefit considerably from increased trade to the so called "ethnic market" in Europe, USA and other developed countries. Some key trading routes have been identified for the artisanal fishery products which represents 70 per cent of fish consumed and traded in the region. Constraints to trade expansion in the handling, processing, distribution and marketing chain of artisanal fisheries are highlighted. Areas to improve the sector for a better trade in west Africa and the global marketplace are suggested. Recommendations are given for possible strengthening intra-regional trade and creating awareness of market opportunities in the region and beyond.
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