APA Maputo (Mozambique) The Mozambican government will launch a six-year US$40 million artisan fisheries project covering the entire coastline of Mozambique (2,500km) including the Sofala Bank, the official Mozambique News Agency (AIM) reports on Thursday citing the provincial director of fisheries in Sofala, John Saiz.
AIM says the project, which should begin in March 2011, will have its targeted interventions for fishing in open water, conservation and marketing of fish along the entire coastline of Mozambique.
“Right now, the project value is around just over 40 million dollars, but we are negotiating with several international partners, in order to increase this value, because the Mozambican coast is long and needs of the fishermen are several,” said Saiz.
According to the project executors, PROPESCAS, the state will also support Inland fisherman.
“Many fishermen, especially in the province of Sofala, using depleted boats made of logs, which does not allow them to go too far, will benefit from the funding”, Saiz said .
Given the extent of the Mozambican coast which spans 2,500 kms, some points will be selected to serve as hubs for promoting the development of artisan fisheries, among other activities related to economic and social life of the communities covered by the project.
Some thirteen million people of Mozambique’s 21 million inhabitants live on small scale fishing and agricultural activities.
Saiz said that four artisan fisheries development centres will be established in Sofala province (centre) and will be located near the port city of Beira.
According to AIM, a similar project is currently being implemented in the Sofala Bank, with operations on coastal provinces of Sofala and Zambezia in the centre, and Nampula in northern Mozambique.
The project seeks to contribute to the improvement of social and economic conditions of fishing communities living along the stretch of coastline that runs from Machanga district in Sofala province to the Mogincual district province of Nampula.
The projects also consists of five main components, namely, fisheries development, community development, market development and improvement of access roads, strengthening of financial and institutional support in the formulation of policies and legislation initiative.
This project has the financial support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) and the Belgian Bank, and allowed loans to fishermen for the purchase of fishing equipment, promotion groups savings and creation of the Community Councils of Fisheries.
Under this project, with the planned roll out during the first quarter of 2011, about 20 schools, 10 health centres and housing for nurses will be built in addition to the rehabilitation of 600 kilometres of secondary roads.