New fish processing facilities open at Providence |26 August 2014
The fish processing facilities at the Providence fishing port were officially opened yesterday.
The facilities, to be managed by the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), will promote fish value addition for higher value of fish products for the market.
They were officially opened by the Minister for Natural Resources Peter Sinon in the presence of President James Michel, who had the honour of cutting the ribbon to mark the inauguration of the facilities.
The event formed part of activities marking the 30th anniversary of the SFA which will run during the week.
Also present at the ceremony yesterday were Vice-President Danny Faure; Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment Pierre Laporte; President of the Court of Appeal Francis MacGregor and other officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the SFA.
The chief executive of the SFA, Finley Racombo, said the processing plants will promote fish value addition for higher value of new fish products for the market and reduce fish wastage.
He said the facilities, which consist of three fish processing factories with three units for each one, has cost the SFA R32 million financed under the Seychelles-EU Fisheries Sectorial Development Programme.
The construction was completed within a 15-month period.
“The units will be allocated solely to Seychellois,” said Mr Racombo.
Promoters were later on given the keys to their units and in accordance to what have already been agreed with them, they have one year to have their products on the market.
In his speech to officially open the fish processing plant, Minister Sinon said the ‘Blue Economy’ concept and vision initiated and shared by President Michel is to focus and perceive our ocean spaces as much more than a transport and fisheries medium but rather a developmental space with vast potential.
“Fishing remains a significant part of this concept whose objective is to increase and improve income generation from the fishery through value addition and increased investment in the post-harvest sector. This is a critical factor that we today will take another step to realise through the launch of the eight processing plants,” said the minister.
He said the launch of the plants will help promote ownership and increase the involvement of Seychellois entrepreneurs in fish processing and value addition.
He also said the event is also a confirmation of SFA’s continuous engagement to turn Seychelles from a mainly well-established transshipment port into a primary fish processing hub in the Indian Ocean.
Since 2007 SFA has been fully committed to the implementation and management of several projects to benefit the fish processing sector through training, capacity building initiatives in the field of fish processing, value addition, quality and product development.
“The facilities and services provided by the Providence port are important elements in contributing to the continuous supply of fresh, traceable, raw materials to the emerging processing factories,” said Minister Sinon.
The new processing facilities have been designed and constructed in such a way as to maintain ideal hygienic and sanitary levels required to meet international food standards.
The minster has urged all Seychellois entrepreneurs to pull together their resources and associate to share experience to surmount the anticipating teething problems; to be determined and resilient and to realise there is strength in numbers, in unity and cooperation though they have to naturally compete.
The processing plants which is run 100% by Seychellois entrepreneurs are expected to directly create fifty new employment opportunities and increase revenue generated from export of processed and high valued fish products.
Keith Andre, representing fishermen and boat owners, said the fish processing plants have opened doors to new markets for better quality products with higher standards.
He also urged investors to engage themselves in the ‘Blue Economy’ concept.
He expressed his gratitude towards the government for making this happen.
Guests were guided on a tour of the facilities after prayers and blessings.
Cutting the ribbon and unveiling the plaque marking the inauguration of the facilities