By: Obediah N. Gbeanquoi
The Director-General of the National Fishery And Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA ) Madam, Emma Metieh Glassco is exerting every effort to place Liberia’s Fishery sector on the international fishing Map as is being manifested by the many improvements she has made since her appointment by President George M. Weah.
In an effort to improve the livelihood of Liberia’s fisheries sector, the latest development is the signing of US$3.1million grant by the Government of Liberia with the Government of Iceland to support the development of the fisheries sector.
The grant will also impact the fishery communities in Montserrado, GrandBassa and Grand Cape Mount Counties as a direct means of supporting the national government Pro-poor Agenda.
Authorities of NFAA also said the grant will finance the establishment of the Liberia’s first International standardize competent laboratory for certification of the fish products and cold food for revenue generation.
At the same time, it will enable certification of Liberia’s fish products for export to the US, EU, Asia and other regional markets.
The grant is expected to benefit 7,500 fishmongers (fish processors or fish sellers) by funding modern fish smoke-oven to improve the current traditional process in drying fish that have both health and environmental challenges.
Speaking Friday December 14, 2018 at the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, the Director- General of NaFAA Madam Emma Glassco praised the Government of Iceland for timely responding to the challenges confronting the sector by the provision of said grant.
She said the Icelandic government grant came at the time when the Liberian fisheries sector is in dire need of financial and technical assistance for onward transformation as NaFAA plans to impact the livelihood of fishermen across Liberia.
Madam Glassco emphasized that the initiative will enable the sector obtain full knowledge of its valuable species to supply both local and international markets.
Signing the grant agreement on behalf of the Government of Liberia,Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said the government is pleased to work with the Icelandic Government which he said is keen in ensuring transformation in the fisheries sector.
Minister Tweah said there is no time to waste in the developmental drive of Liberia which over the last few years has been lacking behind when it comes to infrastructural development.
Also speaking on behalf of his government,the Advisor for Regional Development Cooperation and Partnerships Petur Waldorff said the people of Iceland were pleased to identify with the people of Liberia through a financial support to the fisheries sector. He pointed out that Liberia has huge fisheries potential as such there is an urgent need to adequately support its transformation to ensure huge benefits for the Liberian population.