Cold storage boon for Oshakati

13 July 2018 | Local News

The Oshakati Cold Storage is committed to assisting government to address the country's high unemployment rate and poverty levels, while contributing positively to the economy.

This is according to cold storage chairman Robert Shiimoshili, who was speaking at the official inauguration of the facility at Oshakati on Wednesday. The event was attended by fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau. Shiimoshili said the cold stage, which is a co-owned by two fishing quota holders, Vernier Investments and Camoposatu Investments, is committed to contributing directly and indirectly towards Namibia's economic growth, while supporting SMEs.

“The Oshakati Cold Storage is contributing its small part to the local economy and is indirectly supporting local employment creation and economic growth,” Shiimoshili said.

“We are very committed to supporting Namibian SME suppliers and service providers throughout our operations.”

Shiimoshili said the cold storage understands the role it has to play in the fishing sector, more particularly its responsibility towards the less fortunate members of society. “We fully understand the fact that as a player in the fishing industry we have a responsibility towards the less privileged members of our society. We are very committed to social responsibility and very conscious of the significant socio-economic challenges facing our country. Therefore, we have undertaken a number of social responsibility initiatives in the region,” Shiimoshili said.

The cold storage facility at Oshakati's Oneshila settlement is mainly focused on repackaging consumer-ready products, and cold storage services.

The facility also has two fish shops and 21 people have been employed thus far.

The facility has a capacity of 150 tonnes and is currently distributing 200 tonnes of fish per month, mainly horse mackerel. It also deals with hake and by-catches such as snoek, dentex and jacopever. Esau applauded the owners for their efforts to take fish to the people. He also applauded the decision of facility to keep fish prices parallel to those of Walvis Bay, which he said is affordable. Esau said he was informed that on a daily basis the cold storage distributes 10 tonnes, which he said illustrates that Namibians are eager to consume local fish. “The daily distribution of about 10 tonnes in just one town by this establishment is a testimony that our people want to consume Namibian fish and are willing to pay for it at a competitive price, if it is availed to them. “I would like to thank Vernier and Camoposatu for ensuring that the prices of fish at this facility are kept at Walvis Bay levels, in order to ensure affordability by our people,” Esau added. He said the efforts of the cold storage are in line with his call that the fishing industry undertakes enterprise development and diversifies its investments to the regions, in order to ensure regional development.

“The government wants to see that our fisheries' wealth is distributed to as many regions as possible, through sustainable developments that create jobs, such as this cold storage.”

Esau also used the opportunity to inform the public on the issue of eligibility for fishing rights, saying that not all Namibians are able to get these rights, before adding all citizens of the country benefit from these rights, either directly or indirectly.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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