By Nelson Manneh

The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has recently organized a five-day training for women from fishing communities in the Gambia’s coastal towns and villages, on new and modern fish smoking techniques and methods.

Participants at the training were drawn from the fishing communities of Tanji, Gunjur, Sanyang, Brufut, and Banjul, as well as other fishing communities close to these villages. Most of the participants who spoke in an exclusive with this medium, said the old method of fish smoking is hazardous because it uses a lot of fuel (charcoal and wood), and releases lots of smoke.

Oumie Njie, the consultant and trainer from Senegal, said the training is geared towards exposing women who are engaged in fish smoking, to have the requisite knowledge on new and modern fish smoking techniques.   She said the new and modern fish smoking methods are environmentally friendly and uses less charcoal and wood; that with this new and modern method of fish smoking, women will not be exposed to the hazards of smoke and their health status will not be affected. She added participants are also trained on personal hygiene and precaution. “With this method, women will not be exposed to smoke. The method is easy and improves the quality of fish better,” she said.

Njie said with this method, the smoked fish from the Gambia, can be exported to other countries, because of the quality of the fish.

The Presidents of Gunjur and Banjul Women Fishers Associations respectively, both said the training on the new and modern fish smoking method was timely, and requires less energy.

Participants thanked the FAO for constructing the new fish smoking center in Gunjur and called on the organization to construct other fishing communities within the country.

The training was held in Gunjur, Kombo South District.

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