Nghe An province has approx. 5000 small fishing vessels, but the majority of them loose part of the value of their catch due to on-board deterioration before landing at the shores. Danish support to better on-board and on-shore preservation opens new export markets and ensures a better income for the fishermen.
Fish caught by many of the small fishing boats in Nghe An province ends up as a low-value dried product or fish sauce that can be sold only in the domestic market at low prices. Concerned about this situation, Ms. Kim Lien, a mother of ten children with several years of experience in producing fish sauce in Quynh Phuong commune, decided to work with fishermen in preserving the quality of their catch.
During 2006, Ms. Kim Lien established ‘Kim Lien – One Woman Enterprise’ and started working with improving the quality of catch from the small fishing vessels in Quynh Phuong commune. Realizing that the task of helping the fishermen requires substantial investments in training, technical assistance, on-board preservation & storage facilities and on-shore freezing & cold store facilities, she approached the Global Competitiveness Facility under the Danish-funded Business Sector Programme Support.
With support from Danida, Kim Lien has developed the capacity of the technical team and provided training and technical assistance on on-board preservation for 165 fishermen and supported the upgrading of the on-board preservation facilities of 15 pilot fishing vessels. Further freezing and cold store facilities have been established on-shore. Now the fishermen and Kim Lien are able to work as a team to ensure that high value products such as frozen and spiced fish are exported to the markets in Far-East, thereby increasing the income to fishermen already by over 30%.
This innovative model of providing extension services to the fishermen by a private processor and exporter has generated a lot of interest in the province for replication in other areas, especially when the government of Vietnam is finding it difficult to cope with the increased requirements of supporting the fishermen with the latest knowledge and practices in the fishing industry.