KIRDI, UoN partner to train fishmongers on value addition, fish preservation

Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) has partnered with the University of Nairobi (UoN) to train female fishmongers on value addition and preservation of their produce.

KIRDI Head of Food Technology & Research Gitutu Nyambane said through the training, the women will be able to use food processing technology to preserve fish in order to reach a wider market.

Some of the products they are taught to preserve include tilapia, nile-perch, marbled lungfish and dagaa (omena).

Nyambane disclosed that through the training, the women have been taken through fish drying, deep frying techniques in a clean environment and packaging to appeal to new markets as the demand for the commodity continues to rise.

“The project targets women in Kisumu and Busia counties. The beneficiaries are expected to pass the knowledge to the other women in their respective counties,” she said.

She added that KIRDI will help the women groups get standardization marks from the Kenya Bureau of Standards to widen their markets.

“We also provide adequate manufacturing spaces for startups,” she said.

UoN Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) Hub Director of Research Dr Mary Mbithi said the project targets to boost earnings for the women.

She noted that as a result of processing and packaging fish in hygienic conditions, the women are set to attract new markets, with KEBS certification unlocking avenues for them to sell the products in supermarkets locally and abroad.

Veronica Makokha, one of the beneficiaries from Busia County, said the training was an eye opener.

“We have been processing our fish in unhygienic conditions and in the process contaminating it, leading to massive losses,” she said.

She pointed out that with the new techniques they’ve been taught and KEBS certification, she is  positive she’ll net more markets.

By Fredrick Odiero

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