MFMR, PRECON sign agreement
In an effort to ensure Sierra Leone gain access to European Markets for its fish and fisheries products, Government has engaged the service of PRECON, a Dutch Company, specialised in hygiene, food safety and consumer health protection. (Photo: Jan Moggre (left) and Dr. Kabia (right) signing the Agreement)
Speaking at a short signing of Agreement ceremony at the Youyi building, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Dr. Soccoh Kabia described the occasion as momentous, saying Sierra Leone has over the years tried to get EU Export Market Certification for its fish and fisheries products but to no avail because it lacked the capacity to meet EU new standards and regulations pertaining to the preservation of fish and fisheries products along the food chain. This he said has tremendously affected the country’s ability to generate more revenue. He noted that after careful review of the process government settled on PRECON which he said has the requite expertise in food management and wherewithal to help Sierra Leone enter EU Markets. He was confident that country’s fishery resources will be sustainable and enhance food security if well managed, pointing out that securing EU Export Market Certification will not only showcase Sierra Leone’s fish products to the EU but will also expose them to other lucrative markets in the world.
Dilating on measures adopted to revamp the sector, Dr. Kabia said his ministry has established the Joint Maritime Committee to curb illegal fishing, Marine Protected Areas to promote conservation, reviewed the country’s fisheries laws for good governance and constructed fisheries facilities to add value to fish products among others.
‘We are confident that through the services of PRECON, we are at the dawn of a new era of our fishing sector’, he added.
Signing on behalf of his company, the Director of PRECON, Jan Moggre described food safety, hygiene and orderly processing as key success factors for any food chain, especially fish which he referred to as vulnerable product. He assured government of his company’s commitment to helping the country’s fish industry become trusted supplier to EU fish consumers, thereby adding value to its economy.
Mr. Moggre said the three years project which starts in September this year, will help Competent Authority get listing for fish products and labs to ensure tests are undertaken. To sustain their effort, Mr. Moggre disclosed plans to introduce private sector compliance procedures, develop a fisherman technical schooling curriculum to help young Sierra Leoneans learn best practices on fishing techniques, navigation and other related skills as well as develop marketing strategies for wealth generation. T
he Acting Fisheries Director, Arnold Robbie thanked government for the initiative and expressed the confidence that the process will ensure strict compliance.
By A. Max Konneh, Press Officer, MFMR
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