Brazil’s Ministry of National Integration plans to spend US$ 1.25 million (3.14 million reais) to provide fishermen who live in the Upper Solimões region in the state of Amazonas with more technology to avoid waste, improve fish quality, and process their catch.
In the initial stage, 3,000 residents of riverside and indigenous communities will be benefited through the generation of jobs and income. The Upper Solimões region comprises nine municipalities with a total of 187 thousand inhabitants.
To guarantee the annual production of one thousand tons of fish, a fish processing plant, with an ice factory and cold storage unit to conserve the product and avoid waste, will be installed this year in the city of Tabatinga, Amazonas.
The Ministry foresees the production of fish filets, sausage, and hamburgers, the transformation of bones into feed, and the use of skins to make purses, shoes, and belts. Processing the fish will enable the fishermen to aggregate value to the product.
According to the Ministry’s director of Programs for the North and Northeast Regions, Hildegardo Nunes, the project will organize the fishing activity that already exists in the region without exploiting the workers.
It is an integrated system that will aggregate value and guarantee quality standards, making it possible the region’s fish to be sold, even abroad.
Fishing currently represents an important economic activity in the region, but it is practiced in a way that is disorganized, primitive, and with a high degree of exploitation of the fishermen, according to Nunes.