Swakopmund — Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau says the government is keen to ensure that at least 340 000 metric tons (MT) of 550 000 MT fish landings is processed on shore and exported as high valued products to markets worldwide by 2022.
Esau, who was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Hangana factory on Monday, said that 70 percent of all hake landings is being value-added in the country, bringing in much needed revenue for the industry and government.
"Government also set a new target for horse mackerel and now also want at least 70 percent of the total landings being value added," Esau said.
According to Esau the value addition objective will provide the fishing industry with higher returns and also create much needed jobs.
Currently, he says, about 120 000 MT is value added locally, which includes 70 percent of hake landings, and less than 10 percent horse mackerel landings.
"That is why government is determined to achieve our NDP5 annual targets on value addition. Hence I am calling upon the private sector to invest more in fisheries value addition, in hake, and particularly in horse mackerel," Esau said.
He says there is still a significant value addition gap to bridge in horse mackerel that can only be addressed if the industry is willing to add value to the fishery.
"The industry in the past said it was not possible to add value to horse mackerel and that it should be allowed to continue to on-board freezing and exports. They have to change their mindset on this matter, as government is determined to increase job creation in the fishing industry, in addition to normal profit maximisation objectives," Esau said.
The noted that he is happy that value addition initiatives in all fisheries, including horse mackerel, are becoming the new norm in the industry, even in these tough economic conditions.