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.
“As slightly youngster, I used to be at all times fascinated to see ladies making ready seafood. After I was seven years previous and I used to be nonetheless going to high school, I might purchase shrimp for my aunt, I might smoke it after which we might promote it. That’s how my enterprise in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon started, some years in the past.
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 purchasers and our shrimp was being offered overseas.
With the little implies that we shrimp people who smoke have, we promote and make slightly revenue to cowl our value. It’s not sufficient however we make do.
At present, shrimp is Cameroon’s foremost seafood export product. I’ve heard that the shrimp sector employs round 1,500 folks and I consider shrimp is wholesome meals which is eaten by many.
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 might get a chilly chamber to maintain our fish and solely smoke it after 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.
Finally, it will enhance our livelihoods in addition to contributing to financial progress, elevated meals safety and a discount within the sector’s ecological footprint.
FISH4ACP is led by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Financial Cooperation and Growth (BMZ).