The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources aims to increase the contribution of value added products to 30 per cent of total fisheries production by the end of the year, according to a Ministry official.
Speaking to the Observer, Redha Bait Faraj, Director General of Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing at the Ministry, explained the reason behind this decision. “The current trend is concentrated mainly in dealing with the basic processing of fishery products, which does not capture the true value of our fishery products. To capture the real value, we need to push into what we call added value in which a higher value of the product could be achieved with an even less amount of raw material,” he added.
According to Bait Faraj, value addition can result in increased income due to increased revenues within the sector.
He shared that a metric tonne of fresh sardines has a value of RO 350, while a canned tonne amounts to 575 RO, whereas a tonne of fillets amounts to RO 850 according to data from the last two years.
Furthermore, he argued that it can result in a better utilisation of raw materials. “[Value addition] will also help achieve good sustainability in the utilisation of fishery products, and also to maximise the yield of whatever available product.”
He explained that byproducts such as scraps or cutting remains, or even products unfit for human consumption can still be used to create a wide range of products. Such products include animal and fish feed, enzymatic processed products such as amino acids, fish oil and different bioactive ingredients and compounds.
The Ministry expects the fishery and aquaculture to contribute to RO 1.3 billion to the GDP this year.