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Fish Festival enhances commercialisation

12 Mar 2023

Government is committed to realising the full potential of  wildlife resources through the Wildlife Conservation Policy.

Minister of Environment and Tourism, Ms Philda Kereng made this assertion at the inaugural Dinokeng Fish Festival over the weekend.

She said the fish festival initiative supported the policy’s objective of commercially developing the wildlife industry to create economic opportunities for rural communities.

“This initiative is also in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it creates opportunities for women and youth to partake in fishing value chains, thereby promoting inclusivity and equality. 

Still along the SGDs line, a developed fishing industry in Kgatleng shall promote good health and wellbeing,” she added.

Minister Kereng said the festival was aligned with the Reset Agenda priorities on mindset change and value chain development.

“As you may be aware, the fish industry requires produce from farms, it could lead to the establishment of industries, formation of marketing companies and many other initiatives, this is value chains,” she added.

Ms Kereng said the fish festival offered a platform for stakeholders to appreciate opportunities in management of natural resources, including facilitating start-ups, funding for fisheries project, fishery legislation as well as value and supply chains in fisheries.

She said government would work closely with the community to find common ground and open possibilities in various areas of economic empowerment, including aquaculture and aqua-tourism.

Ms Kereng said strong partnerships were crucial in developing the industry, more especially skills development partners who could impart various fishing business skills to strengthen the industry.

“I have firm belief that a well developed, structured and informed fish industry has potential  to create wealth for Batswana as per ambitions of national development goals. 

You have government’s support to make this festival a calendar event and a huge success,” she added.

A local fisherman Mr Oaitse Mariri said they were inundated with a number of challenges as fishermen. 

He said they wanted to venture into joint ventures, but lack of resources frustrated their ambitions.

Mr Mariri noted that they needed space and a cold-room to store their produce. 

He decried exorbitant prices of nets and other fishing implements.

He said lack of infrastructure development such as roads and transportation was also reversing their gains. 

The Dinokeng Fish Festival is a celebration of the rich resources of the area, which brought together fishermen, fishery stakeholders, potential customers and investors. 

It is a first step in a series of interventions that seek to promote aqua-tourism in the area. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Baleseng Batlotleng

Location : OLIPHANTS DRIFT

Event : Fish festival

Date : 12 Mar 2023