Fishing industry to plough back

Rudi Bowe

The Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) launched its 2019 Annual National Fish Consumption Day (NFCD) on Friday at Walvis Bay.

This 8th Annual NFCD will be hosted in the Oshikoto Region this year, at Omuthiya. It takes place on on 28 September under the theme “Towards a Fish-Eating Nation”.
It is expected that schools in Oshikoto Region will benefit from this initiative, especially from funds that will be raised at the Gala Dinner scheduled for 27 September.
The annual NFCD is a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, NFCPT and stakeholders and was launched in 2012. The mandate is to raise fish consumption among Namibians whom are traditional meat consumers.
Since its inception, it has been hosted in seven (7) Regions, namely; Erongo, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Omusati, Oshana, Kavango West and Kunene.
The proceeds have been invested into the educational needs of the host Regions, in order to achieve quality education of our children.
The activities of NFCD include school sport tournaments, a fish consumption education road show, fish cooking demonstrations, an exhibition and selling different fish and fish products. Then there is the fund raising gala dinner.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon Bernhard Esau (MP) said at the launch “We will be celebrating our Namibian fisheries by promoting fish consumption, and giving back to society by making donations towards our schools in that Region. We will be doing this as one team – the Ministry, fishing industry, other stakeholders, coordinated by our Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust.
The Minister added the Government is determined to promote fish consumption in Namibia, because it believes its good for the health of all Namibians.
It is also good business for our right holders, and it will unlock enterprise development in our rural and urban areas. Our immediate goal in this financial year is to achieve a per capita fish consumption of 20.4 kg per person per year, which translates to about 47,000MT. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that at least 30% of horse mackerel TAC, or about 110,000MT is consumed locally.
“I wish to call upon all members of the fishing industry, and all our partners and stakeholders to come forward and support the National Fish Consumption Day. This is our day to come together as the fisheries sector, and take our fish to the people – in their towns, villages and homes. It is a day to celebrate our fisheries with the people. It is a day when we give generously to support the needy in our communities, focusing mainly on the development of our children through education” Esau said.
The NFCPT is mandated to amongst others, but not limited to, the promotion of the consumption of fish throughout the country whilst ensuring that fish promotion goes hand in hand with skills development.
The Chairperson of NFCPT Board of Trustees, Mrs Suzan Ndjaleka, said: “Our efforts will be futile, should the NFCPT not be an entity that is visible and accessible to Namibians from all walks of life, therefore, on behalf of the Board of Trustees we appreciate NFCPT’s 147 committed and dedicated staff who continue to ensure service delivery to the satisfaction of our valued clientele.
And they make it their mission to have representation in all the fourteen political regions of the country, complimenting it with sixteen (16) retail outlets.
Ndjaleka commended the Government, the fishing sector and associate stake-holders’ support of the NFCPT.
The NFCD activities have create a desire for fish consumption and along with that spurred the development of fish consumption-related enterprises and trade.
Ndjaleka is calling on everyone to collectively continue supporting the NF-CD and other joint efforts targeted at increasing local consumption of fish. Everyone should give their best so that the 20.4 Kg per capita consumption per person goal can be achieved.
Ndjaleka added: “Let us collectively push for the realisation of a well-nourished nation which is poised to advance the country towards the manifestations of an industrialised country”.
Governor of Oshikoto Region Hon Henock Kankoshi, said that education in the Region is been faced with different challenges which hindered both teaching and learning outcomes caution of teaching and learning, mostly in the rural areas.
Kankoshi said “The dire need of schools in the Region that are of priority are beds and mattresses for the hostels, chairs and desks, laboratory equipment for science subjects, duplicating machines at schools, library books and pedagogical book for the Teachers Resource Centres, ablution facilities, generators and sanitary pads for school girls as well as computers for the community libraries in Tsumeb and Omathiya”.
Kankoshi added “There are 72066 learners and 3001 teachers at the 221 schools in the region of which fifty seven of the schools do not have electricity and 24 with no running clean water”.
Learners in the remote rural areas in the region travel up to 30 km per day to attend school and amidst all the challenges the region performs exceptionally well academically Kankoshi added.

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