A FAO project in Burundi: ''Support to post-harvest fisheries technology'' - Short version
Fisheries play an important role in the economic and social life in Burundi. Yet, about 10 to 15% of the harvest was lost during the processing phase. Fish drying, which is the most common processing technique in the country, was done generally on bare ground. This has led to partial or total alteration of the products, and has considerably reduced both income and livelihoods all along the value chain.
In response to these issues, FAO and the Burundi Fisheries Directorate started a project of 282,000 US dollars to improve fish processing method and reduce losses. In 2004, Mvugo, a fishing village located in the South on the shore of lake Tanganyika, was chosen as the pilot site of the project where a demonstration platform for improved technologies has been constructed. For less than a year during the implementation of the project, practical sessions for fish operators have been held on this site which was provided with various fish preservation and processing equipments.
Specifically, the use of raised racks for fish drying was highly promoted. Women had a particular advantage during those training sessions. As a result, the beneficiary fishing communities have adopted the improved fish processing technique which has led to increased yield productivity of the sector and higher incomes for the fish processors as a result of greater consumers' confidence in dried fish products.