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Fish sellers commend new drying method

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Fish seller have hailed the modern Solar Fish Tent Dryers which are expected to be rolled out next year for reducing a workload the fishermen take to dry their fish compared to conventional methods.

The Department of Fisheries, University of Malawi’s Chancellor College and the World Fish Centre are implementing a fish project which is locally known as Nsomba Mchuma, aimed at finding methods of reducing post harvest losses in fish products.

Speaking in an interview, one of the fish sellers who is benefiting from the pilot project Asiyatu Ayilu said the solar dryers have proven to be reliable in terms of improving quality of fish.

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“Previously our customers used to complain that our fish were containing sand and other foreign objects but when I tried drying my fish using the new technology which the fisheries department is implementing, there has been a tremendous improvement in the quality of the fish,” said Ayilu.

She added that as woman who is supposed to balance family and business, she finds the solar dryers to be time effective considering that she does not need to frequently look after the fish.

The dryers are able to control the temperature, thereby giving her time to take care of her family.

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Chief Fisheries Research Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture’s

Department of Fisheries Geoffrey Kanyerere said his department and its project implementation partners are pleased that communities have embraced the concept even before it is rolled out.

He said currently the department is recruiting and training personnel which will be deployed in the fishing bays along the lake to help implementing and facilitating the rolling out of the project.

“We will later on engage our partners at Chancellor College to analyse and compare notes before rolling out the project next. The country loses 40 percent of its annual fish catch due to poor handling after harvesting.

“The project intends to address that challenge considering that fish provides over 70 percent of animal protein to Malawians,” said Kanyerere.

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