Taking fish to the people
Local fish consumption is as an ever-growing activity, according to information given by the Namibia Fish Consumption and Promotion Trust (NFCPT). The trust’s records show that during the period January to May 2013, the trust distributed 2315 mt, compared to the previous year’s distribution of only 1822 mt. During the 2012/2013 financial year the trust distributed 4600 mt of Horse Mackerel, while during the 2013/2014 financial year, 6700 mt were distributed, an increase of 2100 mt.
The NFCPT was established in March 2001 in terms of a cabinet resolution, to promote fish consumption within Namibia by making fish more accessible and affordable to all. It is against this back ground that the NFCPT increased the availability of fish to the nation by bringing its total number of fish shops to 13 country-wide. “NFCPT is always working hard to ensure that its fish shops are stocked and to ensure that their costumers are happy,” stated Mrs Charlene Hartung, Acting CEO of NFCPT. The trust receives its annual quota from the government which allows it to catch horse mackerel and hake, to be sold at a discounted price to the public. But because they do not have a vessel, the industry catches the quota and holds back a portion of the catch for payment. Therefore the NFCPT only receives a portion of the total quota given by the government. Hartung said the more products they sell to one customer the quicker they will run out of stock to serve the rest of their customers. Their aim is not to supply businesses, or in large quantities. They have to ensure that there is fish readily available for each and every person. The demand for fish has grown tremendously which means they have to sustain their supply and manage it effectively. By limiting the purchases to 1 line (10kg) per customer they can reach that goal.
“Namibians love fish but they often do not know how to prepare fish. The NFCPT further aims to teach the public how to cook and prepare fish in different ways, which enables [the consumer] to get the most nutritional value from it,” she said. The NFCPT opened its new head office and fish shop in Walvis Bay, an expansion that cost more than N$12 million. “With the fishing industry operating from Walvis Bay, it makes our operations and distribution easily manageable. Our trucks load at Commercial Cold Store, and if we need to meet with any of the industry players, we are right here in Walvis Bay” she said. The trust sells horse mackerel 18+ at N$7.60/kg meaning 10kg of horse mackerel cost N$ 76-00. Species that are more expensive are monk which the Trust sells at N$61-75/kg and kingklip at N$46-80/kg. “I don’t believe even these expensive species are sold cheaper anywhere else,” she stated. In a newsletter released by the trust in July 2013, it stated that the trusts’ marketing team completed a very successful road-show in the south, which was an initiative aimed at encouraging the consumption of fish by locals . Also last year, they sold fish in Lüderitz at the crayfish festival, as well as in Aus, Keetmanshoop, Mariental, Rehoboth and Windhoek. Hartung said Rundu and Ondangwa are their busiest shops in terms of sales because hey serve a big market. The trust has six trucks on the road to deliver fish to various parts of the country, distributing their products through shops located in Swakopmund, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Rundu, Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz, Gobabis, Eenhana, Outapi, Opuwo and Walvis Bay.