Sep 29, 2008, 6:32 AM
As part of efforts to strengthen capacity for improvement of the fish trade of The Gambia, the Fisheries Department in collaboration with FAO is organising a five-day training forum on National Capacity Building on the issues of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) system in fish and fishery products.
The forum that attracted participants from various partner institutions was funded by the FAO, and executed by STDF project. The objective of the forum is to enhance national capacity to deal with SPS issues and improve market access through meeting international market requirements.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Amadou Saine, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of Fisheries, on behalf of the Minister described the training as very timely.
He indicated that The Gambia's fish and fishery products control system is being constrained, noting that the training programme has been prepared based on identified needs of The Gambia in improving its sanitary control of fish and fishery products.
According to him, the primary objective of The Gambia is to maintain export to the EU as its main trade destination for fish and fishery products, and to remain accredited on lists of countries eligible for export.
For his part, Nfamara Darboe, the Assistant Director of Fisheries said that the development of fishing and fish processing industry under any scenario will contribute to poverty reduction. As he put it, it will also create employment opportunities, particularly for the poor and vulnerable people.
He added that fishing is an important occupation that has often absorbed people from other sectors.