​NFA to invest in processing facilities

​The National Fisheries Authority will be investing in the establishment of dedicated processing facilities in strategic locations throughout the country.

This is to enable SMEs involved in the fishing industry, to prepare, process and export their products to the market.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Minister for Fisheries, Patrick Basa, when officiating at the Pacific Seafood and Technology Exposition 2017.

He said this will be captured in NFA’s program and budget for the next 3 years, commencing in 2018.

Basa noted the struggle of local seafood companies in developing and bringing products to their markets to meet the demand, or consistency, in their supply.

The exhibition is a step in this direction.

Basa said over the years, limited support has been given to the fishing industry.

In the meantime, he urged SMEs to consider working together, share ideas, resources and explore options of selling unexploited products as well as identifying a niche market that has the potential of offering better prices.

He also encouraged the corporation of partnership arrangements between SMEs and seafood processors who are knowledgeable and skilled in processing.

“PNG must identify countries who are interested in our seafood products and immediately commence discussions with these companies for signing of bilateral trade agreements,” he said.

The Minister also suggested for NFA to consider the establishment of fisheries trade lobby group comprising of government and private sector, and asked if this could be treated as a matter of urgency.

He said Pacific Island countries should start creating our own opportunities for our SMEs.

Gloria Bauai