Meals Hero: Cameroon’s shrimp entrepreneur

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Cameroon sits on the Atlantic coast the place Western and Central Africa meet. It was named “Rio dos Camarões” or, “River of Prawns”, by Portuguese explorers, due to the abundance of the crustaceans they found within the space.

Anastasie Obama has been named an FAO Food Hero and forward of the International Day of Rural Women marked yearly on 15 October, she has been chatting with the UN.

“As a little bit youngster, I used to be all the time fascinated to see girls making ready seafood. Once I was seven years previous and I used to be nonetheless going to highschool, I might purchase shrimp for my aunt, I might smoke it after which we’d promote it. That’s how my enterprise in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon started, some years in the past. 

Cameroon – Getting shrimp again to enterprise

I used to chop wooden at house and do the smoking and distribute within the village. It was a small operation and I didn’t even have an oven. My husband was very supportive, and I began getting extra shoppers and our shrimp was being offered overseas.

With the little signifies that we shrimp people who smoke have, we promote and make a little bit revenue to cowl our price. It’s not sufficient however we make do.

At present, shrimp is Cameroon’s predominant seafood export product. I’ve heard that the shrimp sector employs round 1,500 individuals and I consider shrimp is wholesome meals which is eaten by many. 

Shrimp is Cameroon’s main seafood export product.

© FAO/Rocco Rorandelli

Shrimp is Cameroon’s predominant seafood export product.

One of many issues we face is that it’s onerous for us to get recent seafood and to preserve it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has depressed the native market much more. If we had some capital, we’d get a chilly chamber to maintain our fish and solely smoke it once we had an order.

I and others within the enterprise have been supported by FISH4ACP, a world initiative for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

It’s serving to us to unlock the potential of the shrimp sector in Cameroon and assist us in making this worth chain extra aggressive and sustainable.

In the end, it will enhance our livelihoods in addition to contributing to financial progress, elevated meals safety and a discount within the sector’s ecological footprint.

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