Loide Jason Outapi-The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, recently officially inaugurated two fish shops – at Oshifo and Outapi – in the Omusati Region. The fish shops, owned by Omankete Investment, will see people at the grass-roots level access fish and marine products, thereby improving their nutrition in the long run. The fisheries ministry has been promoting fish consumption in the country hence the opening of the two fish shops in Omusati to avail affordable fish to rural people. People at Oshifo and Outapi will now have easy access to fish to diversify their diets and promote value addition at local level. Esau said it is important for Namibians to enjoy their resources first before the surplus is exported to other countries. The country’s 550,000 metric tons of fish harvested per year are enough in both variety and volume to be marketed locally and traded internationally, he added. Esau said that in line with the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and NDP5 the government is determined to ensure food security. “Fish in Namibia is not only sufficient and safe, but it complements our mahangu and other foods to ensure our population is healthy and strong. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, helps to reduce coronary heart disease and does not cause gout as is the case with other animal proteins,” he said. Fish shops also create much needed jobs in the region, which are over and above the current employment provided on fishing vessels and in fish processing factories. Fish shops also promote enterprise development, particularly among the youth and women in locations where people live. “We have a serious challenge of unemployment in our country, especially among our youth, that we must all work hard to address. I am particularly keen to maximise the number of jobs created by every metric ton of fish harvested from our oceans,” he said. Fish provides jobs during catching, onshore processing, transportation and local marketing, especially through enterprise development. Chairman of Omankete Investment, retired bishop Cleopas Dumeni, commended the government for making fish available to the needy.
2017-09-29 10:19:28 11 months ago