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Govt to issue 300 fishing  boats to fishermen on loan

Govt to issue 300 fishing boats to fishermen on loan

FISHING communities in the Indian Ocean as well as inland water bodies have all reasons to smile as the government plans to loan out 300 modern fishing boats to boost small-scale fishermen across the country during this new financial year.

Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega, made the announcement in the National Assembly on Thursday when responding to a supplementary question by Special Seats MP, Ms Neema Mgaya (CCM). Ms Mgaya had wanted to know how fishing communities across the country will benefit from the ministry’s budget for the financial year 2022/2023 which starts today given the country’s endowment of water bodies.

Apart from the fishing boats, Mr Ulega said the government plans to establish 246 fishing nurseries on the shores of Lake Victoria which are expected to employ over 1,000 people involved in the fishing industry.

The Deputy Minister was highly optimistic that through the implementation of the ambitious projects, the fishing industry will generate funds amounting to 40bn/- per annum and thus uplift the lives of fishing communities and generate revenues for the government.

Mr Ulega further told the National Assembly that the government has scrapped various levies which were hitherto imposed in the industry with a view of enabling exports of fish products such as crabs and prawns.

Responding to a supplementary question by Kigamboni MP, Dr Faustine Ndugulile (CCM), Mr Ulega said the government has allocated funds to construct a fish market in Kigamboni.

“There are also plans to construct more international fish markets in other areas to supplement the current ones which are operational,” the Deputy Minister stated while responding to a supplementary question by Special Seats MP, Ms Sophia Mwakagenda.

Mr Ulega mentioned other plans of improving the industry such as provision of cold room facilities and equipment for processing sardines to reduce post-harvest losses which have been experienced by many fishing communities.

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Author: ALVAR MWAKYUSA in Dodoma

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