Although fishing is primarily male-dominated, the participation of women in secondary and tertiary levels of the fish value chain is remarkable. According to the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) statistics, globally, women make up 47% of fisheries supply chain workers while in Africa, 60% of seafood is marketed by women.
In Kenya, women are mainly involved in fish processing (commonly known as “mama karanga”) and trade. Coastal women in Fisheries (CWIFI), through the Indian Ocean Water Body network and COMRED as strategic partners, is implementing a GEF-Small Grants Programme funded project on empowering women traders in various aspects of trade in order to increase their incomes.
A major problem faced by Coastal women in fisheries is the lack of appropriate infrastructure to conduct their business, specifically cold chain storage. Therefore, investment in this infrastructure, including training in relevant areas such as quality assurance, will create huge opportunities for value addition and reduce post-harvest losses.
The project targets Shimoni-Vanga women engaged in fish businesses with the following milestones achieved:
● Training of 112 seascape women on fish value addition (processing, packaging and preservation), entrepreneurship, and fish quality control (standards, fish handling and hygiene)
● Conducted a facility needs assessment to capture the infrastructural needs of women traders