That was noted by the Permenent secretary for fisheries sector in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr. Rashid Tamatama while talking to researchers from Sokoine University of Agriculture who were involved in doing research through the Innovations and Markets for Lake Victoria Fisheries (IMLAF) project.
He said in the last two to three years no money was given by the TADB as a loan to the fishing industry but the establishment of the desk has helped to secure the funds for fisheries stakeholders and now there is an additional of 22 billion which is in various stages to be loaned to stakeholders.
“The positive results of this research project undertaken by SUA researchers will help to diversify the ministry strategies to elevate the Fisheries Sector, therefore i congratulate Sokoine University of Agriculture for the excellent work done by these researchers through the IMLAF project” Said Dr. Tamatama.
He added that the ministry is currently encouraging fishermen to form and join in groups in order to make it easier for them to be able to get loans, and they have already succeeded in persuading the Tanzania Postal Bank to establish a special account called "MVUVI ACCOUNT" for fishing groups in the country.
He said for example sardines processors, if they were able to take advantage of the loan then they would be able to build better and modernized drying infrastructure, thus helping to increase the value of sardines by avoiding to put them on the sand where in Zambian market is being sold up to 6 dollars per kilogram.
Referring to a study which was done by researchers from Sokoine University of Agriculture, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Raphael Chibunda said that sardine fishing is a long time activities in Lake Victoria and these fish are not only used by humans but also used in the production of animal feed.
"The results of this study have been well received especially the knowledge of using cribs and nets to dry fish products has been spread widely and many fishermen are now using it and the quality of fish products has improved. It is our hope that as the project comes to an end, government and community leaders who were reached by this project in their areas, they will continue to encourage fishermen to use these best practices that will increase their income and income for the country” emphasized Prof. Chibunda
He added that with the lake having various types of fish, SUA researchers focused on the most loved and used Fish in Tanzania especially sardines (Dagaa) whose market has expanded to neighboring countries of Congo, Burundi and Zambia and helping countries earn foreign currency and reduce Poverty in Fishing households.
The IMLAF project began its research activities in 2015 in three administrative regions constituting the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria; Mwanza, Mara and Kagera regions with the support of the Danish and Tanzania governments. The project is expected to complete its research activities in December this year, 2019.