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Authority to cut off middlemen

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, May 08, 2014

THE work of middlemen who sell fish bought from Vanua Levu at a high price in other places in the country is something that the Agricultural Marketing Authority is looking to stop.

AMA sales and marketing manager Alivereti Yaya said middlemen were not giving enough to the fishermen who worked hard to catch the fish for the market.

"We want to cut off the middlemen because what they are doing is buying from these fishermen a bundle of fish for about $7 to $15 and then they go and sell it for $20 to $30," he said.

"They are taking money from the fishermen."

He said the authority was working closely with the Agriculture Ministry to encourage the sale of reef fish and provide a market for the fishermen from the North.

"The North is a place where we have identified where we could encourage the sale of reef fish and what we'll do is to find a market for them.

"The main aim for this is to ensure that there is more money for the fishermen rather than it being taken by the middlemen."

He said a fish processing facility could be opened as early as June this year to ensure that fishermen had a place to sell their fish.

"We are working with the ministry to open a fish processing facility in the North.

"The facility will allow fishermen in Vanua Levu to bring their catch where we process it and package it ready for export."

Labasa fisherman Seresio Taraganivalu said the initiative would benefit a lot of people in the North.

"Fishing is one of the main income earners here so for a facility and a market available, a lot more fishermen can earn money for themselves and their families," he said.

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