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The Ministry of Industry, United Nations Industrial Development Organization along with the Embassy of the Russian Federation launched a project that focuses on developing aquaculture and fishery value chains in Ethiopia.
The project that aims to help build the technical and institutional capacity to increase production in the aquaculture and fishery sectors is being financed by the Russian Government through a voluntary contribution of USD 2.26m to the Industrial Development Fund of UNIDO.
“Ethiopia’s potential in the aquaculture and fishery sector is big. With this project we aim to increase production and possibly reach the export level,” stated Dr. Mebrahtu Meles, State Minister of Industry said during the launching event that was held at the Hilton Hotel on June 6, 2017. The project that has a four year lifespan will be implemented between 2017 and 2020.
According to Juliet Kabege, Project Manager at UNIDO to ensure the effective implementation of the project more focus will be on developing a value chain.
“We would like to have a mechanism that will guide the effective implementation of this project. UNIDO is taking the approach of value chain development. This means looking at the development of the sector and value chain from one end which is primary production to market but also looking at other dynamics that could benefit from our value chain approach,” Kabege said.
The project will initially be implemented in the Amhara region but is expected to scale up benefiting other regions in the country.
Artisanal freshwater fisheries are one of Ethiopia’s most vital economic activities, according to the United Nation’s Fish and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Fish sales make up one percent of the GDP at USD 49 million. The Global Fish Alliance has said that improving fisheries would contribute to alleviating poverty and environmental sustainability in Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia there are 180 different species of fish and 30 of those are native to the country. The country also has 7,000 to 8,000sqm of lakes and reservoirs and 7,000sqm of rivers stretching through its land