GHANA - SNV Ghana, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has launched fish processing technology to produce healthier fish to meet local and international standards.
Dubbed FAO-Thiaroye (FTT-Thiaroye), the innovation is to create awareness of the FTT in the country among fish smoking communities, reports GhanaWeb.
It also aims to equip small fishing communities with tools and know-how to dry and smoke fish on a simple rack.
Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, FAO Country Representative, speaking at the launch said the introduction of the FTT which had a higher energy efficiency would also see to the reduction in the use of wood fuels, which would contribute to the conservation of the forests, especially the mangroves.
He said the new technology transfer was to support the fisheries sector, especially the small and medium scale fisheries in enhancing their profitability, poverty reduction and contribution to the sustainable development goals.
These, he said, would be achieved through the collaborative efforts and building of partnerships between public and private institutions, non-governmental organisations, in promoting and supporting the transfer of the technology.
“Today marks another mile stone in the history of fish processing in the country after the development of the Chorkor Smoker here in 1969,” the FAO Country Representative said.
He said the new technology took into cognizance, energy efficiency, healthier end product which meets international standards and makes fish smoking less cumbersome especially for hard working rural women.
He commended the government for the continuous partnership with FAO in bringing solutions that impart on the lives and livelihoods of the generality of Ghanaians and most especially the rural poor.
"As you may already know, fisheries and aquaculture in Ghana, like in many developing countries in the world, play an important socio-economic role," he added.
He commended the significant contribution and coordination of SNV Ghanain championing the introduction of the FTT, in Ghana by securing the buy-in of the relevant government institutions and the private sector.
Dr Thiombiano said the current initiative was aimed at developing the capacity of the private sector, led by the small and medium scale fish processors and fish exporters.
He appealed to development partners, Government, to join efforts for the scaling up and dissemination of the FTT to the benefit of the value chain actors wherever inefficient fish processing operations are taking place.
Mrs Amanda J. Childress, Country Director, SNV Ghana said in 2013, the organisation received funding from the Dutch government for a large improved fish smoking project that runs through 2015.
She said the improved fish smoking project aimed to catalyse the development of sustainable value chain fish smoking in Ghana improving energy efficiency and supply.
She said the technology development and dissemination in the country was also an essential component of SNV's improved fish smoking and mangrove restoration project.
She said the traditionally smoked fish from Ghana only sells at the local market, which do not meet the standard for the European and other international markets due to the high PAHs in the smoked fish.
Mrs Childress said over the past week, SNV has organised a special FTT technology transfer training for selected national stakeholders and regulators on the design, construction and use of the facility.
"The result of this training is a fully built FTT stove at the Ghana Standards Authority premises under the guidance of an expert," she added.
The Country Director said the organisation was interested in developing long term relationship and partnership with relevant stakeholders in developing and promoting the technology inthe country.
Mr Smauel Manu, Deputy Director, Fisheries Commission gave the assurance that the Commission would vigorously promote to benefit the state in reducing post-harvest loses.
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TheFishSite News Desk