WALVIS BAY – The Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) raised over N$600 000, two tons of horse mackerel and hake as well as sanitary pads for needy schools in the //Kharas region during their annual fundraising gala dinner that was held on Friday at Walvis Bay.
The fundraiser has been part of NFCPT’s efforts to honour their social responsibility as a government entity, simultaneously promoting the consumption of fish across Namibia through the annual Fish Consumption Day that is expected to take place in the //Kharas region this year.
Speaking at the gala dinner, chairperson of the NFCPT Trust Suzan Ndjaleka said NFCPT strives to be in line with government’s objective that does not only create awareness on the benefits of fish consumption but also to reach the per capita fish consumption rate.
“Gradually, we have observed a marginal increase in the per capita fish consumption rate from 15.54 in 2020 to 16.59. This increase was recorded at the end of March 2021, and we are hoping for an increase this year. This is despite the persistent economic recession manifesting across all sectors of the economy and the deadly Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Fisheries minister Derek Klazen at the same applauded NFCPT for raising funds for education and ensuring Namibians in all 14 regions have access to fish through the NFCPT fish shops.
“Since 2009, NFCPT and stakeholders have raised over N$4.5 million, which was utilised on assisting our communities in various regions in Namibia. Let me also clarify that this CSR initiative is by no means the only way that the fishing industry shares the benefits of our fisheries with the wider Namibian community,” said Klazen.
The minister said the industry
pays fishing levies, quota fees and taxes, which are in turn distributed through the national budget to all regions in the country to build roads, schools, hospitals, and for other developments.
“Therefore, the National Fish Consumption Day donations are a top-up of the fisheries sector’s contribution to society, which comes with the educational component of imparting culinary skills and socio-economic benefits of consuming fish. Allow me to say that a culture of national fish consumption is good for local businesses and poverty eradication – in addition to the well-known nutritional benefits,” Klazen said. He added that in order to achieve the country’s national fish consumption target of 20.4 kg fish per person per year, Namibians need to consume about 30 000MT of fish, valued at about N$500 million within various towns in Namibia.
“We have now reached about 16.59 kg per person per year of this target. If only our people in the regions could also focus on fish trading and start consuming more fish, we could surely get to our 20.4 kg per person per year target or even surpass it,” he said.