Training to help bring women entrepreneurs in the fisheries sector to the fore |22 September 2023
Seychellois women entrepreneurs and youths who would like to venture into blue economy value chain businesses are being urged to do so now that the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and the Seychelles Chapter of the Comesa Federation of Women in Business (COMFWB) have signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) to provide the necessary training.
The MoU, which provides a framework for non-exclusive cooperation, facilities and strengthen collaboration between the two parties in areas of common interest, was signed by the acting chief executive of SFA, Philippe Michaud, and the chairperson of COMFWB, Claudette Albert, in a short ceremony held at the SFA headquarters at the Fishing Port.
Present were the chief executive of Citizens Engagement Platform, Seychelles (Ceps), Alvin Laurence, and the head of product development and quality assurance department, Margaret Ally.
Through the MoU interested women entrepreneurs and youths will be trained by staff at the SFA’s product development and quality assurance department in fisheries value chain for the creation of new and quality products through making use of the fish available at zero waste.
The first business incubation training programme in the fish value addition will take place in the first week of November 2023 where participants will for three days get the learn how to handle and process fish to ensure quality products.
They will also learn fish biology and various fish products that can be produced for consumption and for the artisanal sector (tourism), aquaculture and agriculture, among others.
The training will also include how to select the best fish to get the best quality of value chain products. The training will be both in theory and practical and the expression of interest is expected to be launched soon in the media.
In his address, Mr Michaud said that the authority was very appreciative of COMFWB and Ceps to have seen the necessity to ensure that women and youths play a much bigger role in developing our fishing sector to the maximum.
He added that due to limited resources nowadays, it is primordial that we make the most of the fish that land on our shores, not only for consumption but also in other value chain products to reap the maximum benefit.
“We have the facilities to help them develop their new products which will be good for our locals, the tourists and the economy and I wish them success in their undertakings. I can confirm that we will give them our full support,” Mr Michaud said.
For his part, Mr Laurence noted that Ceps has conducted numerous trainings for women entrepreneurs to join the fishing sector but they lacked the facilities. Now with the facilities to be provided by SFA, they will get to develop what they have learned and also learn new things that will bring our blue economy to the next level.
He said the idea is to have maximum engagement of Seychellois entrepreneurs in the creation of wealth for the country.
She noted that through the programme there will be opportunities and new products that are going to be developed for the women entrepreneurs to consider to add to their businesses for economic growth and future enlargement for job creation.
“We have seen that the women and youths are present in the fishing sector but they are not visible. The training is to encourage them to come out and position themselves in the sector. There is a lot of value added products that can be made out of fish for the women to develop a new business,” Mrs Albert said.
She added that COMFWB in partnership with SFA is developing a value addition programme with regard to fish leather for the creation of artisanal products.
She hopes that such a business is taken onboard by the Seychellois women entrepreneurs.
She thanked SFA for the partnership and to develop the value chain programme that will cater for 25 women entrepreneurs and youths.
Text & photo by Patrick Joubert