SAVE FOOD: Initiative mondiale de réduction des pertes et du gaspillage alimentaires

The Kafue Women’s Fish Processing Association (KWFPA): Support for value chain integration in Zambia.

Photo: ©FAO/Davide Signa
05 Dec 2014

Some women in Kafue, Zambia are getting into product innovation and entrepreneurship. The Kafue Women’s Fish processing Association (KWFPA), with Ms. Kasazi Nyendwa as the head, conceived the idea to make tasty bite size crackers, named Fish Crackers. This is achievedby usinga lesser valued fish, which is usually discarded by fishers and consumers alike; the edible fish meat is minced, mixed with various ingredients and then cooked and packaged for the market. Ms. Nyendwa presented her concept to SmartFish, after which the decision to support the idea was made.

With support from the European Union funded SmartFish Programme, the KWFPA has in fact contributed to a value chain enhancement initiative where they have enlisted other women from other fishing associations in Zambia to supply the raw material for this innovative value-added product.   The objective was to prepare a healthy snack that could be introduced to areas where traditional product forms, such as frozen, dried and fresh fish could not easily be consumed or stored. In turn it helps to reduce post-harvest losses through utilizing this less popular fish. The fish crackers can be consumed easily and come in three different styles: “Chilli redefined”, “Cheese” and “Lemon & Herbs”.

The SmartFish Programme, implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and co-implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has supported the Association’s development through providing various tools and equipment for the processing area, in addition to a freezer for the storage of raw material. Enough support was provided to also cover some initial labour costs and develop attractive packaging to enhance the marketing efforts. During the initial start-up in May 2014, the women were processing 54 kg of fish, they are now producing 185 kg and the Association has increased from 10 to 15 persons.  

Due to the initial success of the fish crackers and through the innovative energy contained in the group, additional new products are being developed for market testing, including various styles and flavours of fish sausage. This is just a start, but the sausages are showing great promise and will likely provide wider market potential for the Women involved.

By developing such a product and creating the economic activity along the value chain, the KWFPA not only brings new variety to the consumers, but they also contribute towards elevating the status of women in the sector and increasing the earning capacities, boosting family incomes and supporting other groups of women in the region.

SmartFish has various activities that focus on value chain development, enhancing how fish are getting to markets and develops stakeholders’ relationships along the value chain, which result in shared success. The work being undertaken by the KWFPA is a good example of how value chains should be seen as a marketing partnership, where benefits accrue for everyone.


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