(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian minister of fisheries and animal industries (Minepia), Dr Taïga, announced the government’s ambition to cut fish imports in the coming years thanks to higher local production. This was during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute February 28 in Yaoundé.
Speaking during the meeting, Minepia revealed fish imports still weigh on expenditures though they were down 55% between 2016 and 2017 as local production grew. In 2017, Cameroon purchased 181,678 tons of fish for XAF114.3 billion.
“This downward trend is expected to continue, given the actions undertaken to promote the development of aquaculture and the diversification of food sources,” said Dr Taïga. However, the official stressed, there are many constraints to fish production including the shortage of fish resources due to Cameroon's geographical position and the absence of fertilizer flows, thus leading to a low availability of the resource and consequently, lower investments in the sector.
Also, aquaculture remains artisanal due to the poor quality of inputs, the difficulties of marketing production and the lack of human resources qualification. In need to cut dependency on imported fish, Cameroon intends to speed up large-scale extension of aquaculture techniques and reorganize fishing management structures, including aquaculture stations, fishing centers and fisheries control posts.
Building equipped landing points are also planned, including arrangements for the conservation and marketing of fishery products and the inclusion of nationals into fishing areas.