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Value Addition in Fish

Value addition refers to the enhancement of the value of the fish before the local fishermen sells to the customer. The process is associated with fish and fish products between the time fish are caught or harvested and the time the final product is delivered to the customer. The shelf life of the fish from the lake without being put in the cold room is very limited and therefore the fishermen have to sell the fish to middlemen lest they get spoilt.  The value addition activity is very important to the fishermen because it increases the value of the fish and enables the fishermen to fetch better prices from the market.

Value addition processes include the following;

  • Cleaning of the fish and parking them in clean containers
  • Processing which includes cutting the fish by artisan fishermen.
  • Packaging the fish
  • Preservation of the processed fish using cold rooms
  • There also a possibility of microwave heating
  • Smoking or drying the fish using solar power
  • Microbial loads by adding acids ( shelf life enhancers)

The value addition will also enable the fishermen to access better local and foreign markets that offer better prices.

Challenges to the small scale fishermen

  • Lack of trained and experienced fishermen who appreciate the practices aimed at improving the value and quality of fish
  • Poor infrastructure in terms of roads and cold room facilities more especially at the fishing sites.
  • A major challenge facing the fishermen especially in the fishing communities of Lake Victoria is the diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS.
  • Fishermen lack the necessary knowledge of how to add value to fish.
  • They lack the capacity to meet greater demands and expectations of customers in terms of quality, quantity and consistency
  • There is a challenge of finance which makes it had for the fishermen to purchase equipments to use.
  • In adequate local market for fresh fish.

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