Posted on 03 August 2018
Charlotte and Angèle hail from Befasy and Maromena, two fishing villages in southwestern Madagascar. They have travelled nearly 1000km to sell their fish and seafood at the “FIER Mada 2018” fair in Antananarivo.
.FIER Mada is an annual convention open to every farmer in Madagascar, that is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Charlotte and Angèle are members of "Vatoharasoa" (translates as “beautiful reef” in English), an organization that manages their villages’ marine areas, reefs and marine reserves. Alongside twenty other women, they have established a fish smoking cooperative. “We help our husbands by smoking their freshly caught produce, such as octopus, fish and tuna,” Charlotte, the president of her own co-op, said. “We want to add value to our products,” she added.
But the community is not just motivated by the opportunity to increase the value of their fish products. In fact, smoking tuna means that the fish can be kept for days without losing its value, which is 25,000AR/kg (approximately 5 euros). Their efforts make it possible to sell tuna that was not sold whilst it was fresh, which brings in more money for their families.
The women of Befasy and Maromena have been trained in techniques to preserve fish, and specifically tuna. Supported by WWF, this training focused on how to meet the basic quality standards for food processing. Women have also benefitted from the establishment of smoke houses.
The FIER Mada fair is located in front of The Maki Stadium in Andotapenaka, Antananarivo, and is open to the public until Sunday, August 5th.