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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Efficiency key to enhanced fish trade in Africa

Expert said increased efficiency will reduce wastage, boost trade as well as enhance confidence in Africa’s fish trade, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The Director General, WorldFish, Stephen Hall, took this stand during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his company and the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) .

“Given the cross border nature of the trade, it is important that we achieve a level of alignment. This agreement will enhance the fisheries sector and improve livelihoods for the 12 million Africans that rely on the business”, Hall maintained.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the MoU will allow the two organizations to work together on standards that will provide an Africa-wide framework for producers, distributors and sellers to ensure safety and quality at all stages of the value chain, from catch to the plate. The MoU was also aimed at promoting consumer confidence in African fish for domestic and export markets.

According to the agreement, priority will be given to the sustainability of fisheries, hygiene and storage requirements as well as traceability aspects. The end goal is a continent-wide alignment of standards and certification schemes that will boost the market for fish

Experts, NaijaAgroNet learnt, say a focus on fisheries sustainability is key to opening up global markets with few exports being made from the continent without compliance to standards in this field even as the  MoU is the duo’s  contribution to the commitments for a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) made at the January 2015 African Union Heads of State meeting. The two organizations hope that this expansion of trade will most benefit small and medium scale enterprises.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE/ED,OPs

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