NANCY MWAPE, Lusaka
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) is working with WorldFish regional office for Southern Africa in Zambia to improve food security and reducing poverty through intra-regional fish trade in the region.
In their quest to promote intra-regional fish trade, SADC secretariat, WorldFish and SADC member states have developed harmonised fish standards for the SADC region to improve fish-trade project.
This activity was requested by member states at the 35th meeting of the SADC technical committee on fisheries held in Gaborone, Botswana.
According to a statement posted by SADC, the first phase of the project involved corridor analysis to determine information on the structure, products and value of intra-regional fish trade in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
“The project identified a lot of challenges hampering intra-regional fish trade; one of them is lack of an enabling environment for fish processors and traders to sell fish across borders especially, to access formal markets within the region,” reads the statement.
According the Article 16 of the SADC protocol on fisheries (2001) proposes promotion of trade and investments in fisheries by reducing barriers to trade and investment.
The article further calls for cooperation in establishing regional capacity to implement internationally acceptable standards on quality control and certification of quality and establishment of common positions with regard to sustainable trade.
SADC notes that standards are helping to increase capacities for trade among private sector associations, in particular of women fish processors and traders and aquaculture producers.
It aims at making better use of expanding trade opportunities through competitive small and medium-scale enterprises.
In Zambia, the project has supported development of fish value chains for the Kafue Women’s Fish Processors Association and Lotuno Enterprises Limited, one of the leading small woman-led enterprises.