Key Stakeholders at a day’s sensitisation meeting organized by Central and Western Fishmonger’s Improvement Association (CEWEFIA), at Winneba have appealed for an extension of the project, ‘Increasing the Voice of women for sustainable Fisheries’.
The project was sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, through Plan International-Ghana and implemented by CEWEFIA, from February and was expected to end in July, for fishmongers in Effutu Municipality (Winneba) and Agona West (Dago).
It was to increase their capacities in leadership and entrepreneurship skills and knowledge on sustainable fisheries management practices as well as financial resilience to make them more secure, receptive to new knowledge, and desire to take up leadership roles.
They were also taught modern fish processing techniques, conflict management, interests on savings, and understanding their roles as fish processors to protect fisheries resources.
It was also to make them better stewards of fisheries resources who will be more willing to advocate and support fisheries reforms to sustain fish supplies for processing and marketing.
The participants indicated, that the project had enhanced the knowledge level of members of the Association through the training sessions, hence, the extension to enable CEWEFIA to continue with their education to reach out to all fishmongers, for more awareness creation.
They further recommended to the sponsors to organize alternative livelihood/vocational skills training for the young men and women in the industry to acquire income-generating activities to earn a living during closed seasons.
The beneficiaries of the project were schooled on topics, including; ‘leadership and advocacy skills, modern fish processing techniques, conflict management, sustainable fisheries management practices, book-keeping, interests in savings, entrepreneurial skills, and understanding their roles as fish processors to protect the fisheries resources.
Mr Nicholas Smith, project manager of CEWEFIA, said in a speech on behalf of Mrs Victoria Churchill Koomson, Executive Director and founder of the Association, that the Association was formed to empower the disadvantaged, poor, needy, and vulnerable women with skills.
It was also to offer them information, sustainable livelihood opportunities to fulfill their potentials for them to have the capacity to make transformational choices, to promote leadership and development in their communities.
The focus is on women in the fisheries sector because they play significant roles in that industry with about 80% of them engaged in fish processing at one time or the other, he added.
Ms Koomson further stated, that lack of skills of women into processing prevented them from managing their small scale-fishing businesses ķeffectively, leading to post-harvest losses, loss of income, and its consequences
Hence their empowerment gives them the ability to manage the fisheries resources well, reduce post-harvest loss, and ensure sustainable fisheries management, she said.
“I anticipate that the training given to the women numbering over 90 in the two communities will go a long to help improve their lives and to contribute positively towards the sustainability of fisheries resources”, she added.
Among the stakeholders from Effutu Municipality and Gomoa West who attended the meeting were, officials from the Assemblies, Chiefs Fishermen and their executives, Social Welfare officers, Assembly members, and leaders of the fishmongers.