ZANZIBAR presidential candidate on CCM ticket, Dr Hussein Mwinyi has restated his commitment to transform the fishing sub-sector, and pledged a special portfolio that will oversee the country's key economic segment.
"The fishing industry is a key economic sector that employs majority people in Zanzibar...my vision is to transform it into its deserved status and possibly introduce the fishery ministry," Dr Mwinyi told leaders of Unguja-based small-scale fishermen, fish and seaweed farmers.
Fishery issues currently fall under agriculture, natural resources, livestock and fisheries ministry, which stakeholders perceive as too huge to give the fishery sector the attention it deserves.
Dr Mwinyi further promised soft loans, fishing gears and training for the smallscale dealers to improve the subsector's productivity.
After listening to the fishermen's concerns, the presidential aspirant said if endorsed for the country's top job, he will work closely with the fishermen to elevate them economically.
Speaking on behalf of his fishing colleagues, Mr Idd Omar Khamis decried limited markets for their catches, asking the presidency seeker to address the problem. However, he assured the aspirant of many votes from the fishermen.
A fish farmer, Ms Ikiwa Abdallah Ali pleaded with the presidential hopeful to provide the entrepreneurs with supportive environment for fish farming, citing unavailability of credit facilities, unreliable supply of fish feeds and theft as their serious challenges, currently.
She described fish farming as a lucrative job with huge potentials for job creation.
A seaweed farmer, Ms Pavu Khamis commended the candidate for the opportunity, wishing him well in his endeavours.
Although, complained over peanut prices for their produce-ranging between 700/- and 800/- per kilogramme-saying the amount was only demoralising and condemning farmers to poverty.
In the course, the seaweed farmer asked the government to contemplate introducing the clove marketing system into the seaweed as well by entrusting the Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) with the responsibility of purchasing all seaweeds at a favourable price.
In response, Dr Mwinyi asked the entrepreneurs to vote for CCM candidates in the October 28, 2020 general elections to have their challenges addressed.
Last week, Dr Mwinyi met Pemba-based fishermen, fish and seaweed farmers as well and pledged legal reforms to compel big investors to support their small-scale counterparts in the industry.