Lack of any value addition through processing is one of the critical factors affecting the performance of the Egyptian aquaculture value chain. Fish is sold as whole form with no processing either primary as fillet or into other secondary processed products as ready product. To improve Egyptian farmers’ chances in exporting their fish to other countries in the region, it is essential to improve post-harvest handling transport and storage for maintaining good fish quality and to encourage fish processing as an important step towards sustaining and expanding the aquaculture production in Egypt.
In its efforts to support the Egyptian aquaculture industry, USSEC and the United Soybean Board (USB) hired a consultant, Dr. John Woiwode, to prepare an overview of the Egyptian aquaculture sector, conducting a market assessment of the constraints and opportunities of the Egyptian fish value chain for fish processing and value added solutions.
The mission took place over a period of nine days from July 5 to 14, starting with a number of field visits to local fish marketing facilities from small retail wet markets to the largest wholesale fish markets in the country.
Numerous visits were made to fish processing facilities in Alexandria and Damietta, and exporting facilities in Beheira. The consultant also visited fish farmers in the major fish farming areas in Beheira and Kafr El Shaikh.
The mission concluded with a roundtable meeting held on July 13 at the Novotel Hotel near the Cairo airport. 33 participants attended, representing all sector stakeholders (fish farmers, fish processors and retailers, researchers, and decision makers). The purpose of the meeting was to identify the underlying reasons for the bottlenecks/constraints that are preventing the fishery value chain from creating and offering opportunities for processing and value adding solutions to be developed.
The objectives of this project were:
- To identify the bottlenecks, constraints and opportunities within the fish value chain, in particular for processing and value added solutions based on the review of available prior reports, quick survey and validation
- To recommend technical assistance interventions with effective sustainable impact for Egyptian fish for processing and value adding solutions
- To deliver the technology and know-how of the new techniques and solutions to produce processed items from Egyptian fish
- To conduct on-job training and technical assistance for the fish value chain actors regarding the new techniques and solutions as well as prototype trials