FAO wants to encourage Ivorians to invest in the fishing sector

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

Presenting a value chain analysis of tuna at the Lokojro jetty (Western Abidjan) and sardinella at the Sassandra fishery (southwest Côte d’Ivoire), FAO National Fisheries Value Chain Adviser Dr. the Ghanaians predominate, while the coast is dominated by the Malians.

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

He explained that the Ghanaians have three organizations: a public 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 a reference price (for fish) at the start of the season.”

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

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

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

This is done in order to conduct a mid-term review of the annual work plan of the National Technical Committee for 2022 and collect recommendations. On this occasion, two studies were presented, the first of which focuses on gender-sensitive value chain analysis using technologies that make work easier and reduce the impact on mangrove use.

The second study focused on exploring market opportunities and developing market strategies for selected products in close collaboration with artisanal processors and suppliers.

“As part of this FAO-piloted West Africa Coastal Fisheries Initiative (IPC-AO) project, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Inades-Formation and FAO to support participants in terms of capacity building,” it said. Mr. Alphonse Kouame, Food System Project Manager of the African Institute for Economic and Social Development (Inades-Formation), the organization responsible for training.

According to Mr Kouame, who represented Inades-Formation, an international association with ten countries in Africa and based in Côte d’Ivoire, at this meeting, this training, which involves all participants in the artisanal fisheries value chain, is designed to fishermen, fishmongers, processors, butchers, in the areas of Lokojro and Sassandra.

“A total of 175 actors will be trained” at the Lokojro wharf and the fishing grounds of Sassandra, a seaside town 280 kilometers from Abidjan, he said. Training should also enable cooperatives to prepare for bidding.

After identifying training needs, Inades-Formation decided on the following modules: “Empowerment, Professionalisation, Entrepreneurship (because this is a sector with high economic potential), Donor Collaboration, Simplified Accounting and Business Plan Development. “, he mentioned.

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

IPC-WA National Project Manager Mr. Abubakar Kone indicated that FAO’s goal of capacity building, food security and women’s empowerment is estimated to be 99% post-harvest, stressing that training will take place “by the end of September beginning of October 2022”, the period corresponding to the short fishing season (off-season).

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