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New initiative helps women improve oyster production and preserve Senegal’s mangrove forests

FISH4ACP will support female producers in making oyster value chain more sustainable

4 March 2021, Dakar - FISH4ACP, an innovative programme to make fisheries and aquaculture value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific more sustainable, is now supporting female oyster producers in southern Senegal and preserving some of its most precious ecosystems.

Women make up around ninety percent of the work force in Senegal’s oyster value chain, which provides up to 6 000 jobs. Particularly in the southern provinces of Casamance and Siné-Saloum oysters are key for women to make a living and take care of their families.

FISH4ACP, an initiative led by the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) aiming to unlock the potentional of fisheries and aquaculture value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, has now started operations in Senegal, where it supports female oyster producers in the country’s south.

“Oysters are a vital source of healthy food in Senegal,” said Téning Sene, Director General of Senegal’s National Aquaculture Agency at an online event to launch FISH4ACP in Senegal. “In boosting oyster production and increasing oyster farming, FISH4ACP will help us expand the aquaculture sector, stimulate growth and create jobs,” she added.

Most of Senegal’s oyster production of nearly 400 tonnes per year is consumed at home, while a small portion is exported within the West African region. Cooked and dried oysters are traditionally used in local dishes, while fresh oysters supply the urban and tourist markets.

“FISH4ACP will work with oyster harvesters in Casamance and Siné-Saloum to improve their livelihoods and empower them to become stewards of their environment,” said Bintia Stephen Tchicaya, Senior Policy Officer of FAO, that is responsible of implementing the project with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Bintia Stephen Tchicaya explained that FISH4ACP will help the oyster harvesters to improve product quality, expand oyster farming and develop marketing tools to add value and boost sales.

At the same time, the initiative will promote social benefits by empowering women producer associations and make the oyster sector more environmentally sustainable by reducing pressure on mangroves.

“Fisheries, because of its contribution to economic growth and food and nutrition security, is a priority for sustainable development as it can contribute to preserve ecosystems,” said Stéphane Devaux, Team Leader Jobs and Inclusive Growth at the EU Delegation in Senegal.