Value addition refers to the enhancement of the value of fish before the local fishermen sells them to the consumers. These are processes associated with fish products between the time fish are caught and the time of the final product is delivered to the consumer.
The shelf life of the fish from the lake without being put in the cold room is very limited and therefore the fishermen have to sell them to the middle men before they get spoilt. The valve addition is very important to the fishermen because it increases the value of the fish and enables the fishermen get better price from the market both local and international. Providing the fishermen with cold rooms will greatly enhance the value of the fish as they will not be in a hurry to sell them.
Value processes include the following;
Cleaning of the fish and packing them in clean containers
- Processing which includes cutting the fish by artisan fishermen
- Packing the fish
- Preserving of the processed fish using cold rooms
- There also a possibility of microwave heating
- Smoking and drying the fish using solar power
- Microbial loads by adding acids
Challenges to the small scale fishermen
- Poor infrastructure in terms of roads and cold room facilities more especially at the fishing sites
- Inadequate local market for fresh fish
- There is a challenge of finance which makes it had for the fishermen to purchase equipment to use.
- Fishermen lack the necessary skills and knowledge of how to add valve to the fish
- They also lack capability to meet the demand and expectations of customers in terms of quality, quantity and consistency.
- The also face a challenge of diseases , poverty and igonorance.