“The NEPAD Agency fisheries team recently had the pleasure of visiting the facility of Frijay Consult, an agro-processing company based in Lagos, Nigeria to meet with Mrs Jerry Uwherake, the Managing Director. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss, share information, knowledge and best practices on fish processing and trade as part of the Fisheries Programme activities on facilitating improved management of shrimp resources in Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
Frijay Consult was established by Mrs Uwherake in 2004. In 2005 at the AU/NEPAD ‘Fish for All’ Summit in Abuja, Mrs Uwherake received an award for the Best Private Sector Exhibitor. This seminal conference, organised by the then NEPAD Secretariat, confirmed the importance of the sector to Africa’s development and resulted in the Abuja Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa and the NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture, which set out the blueprint for the sector’s re-generation and invigoration.
Since then, Frijay Consult has gone from strength to strength, processing agricultural products and exporting them to the USA, Europe and other African countries. Fisheries products produced by the company include dried fish products such as catfish, tilapia, shrimp, crayfish among other species. The company has a thriving clientele on the East coast of the USA and is in the process of establishing a distribution warehouse in Baltimore. Key activities of the company now include agro-products processing; consultancy; training; capacity building; packing and marketing; and oven construction. As part of the capacity building activities, the company is assisting women processors at some of the fish landing sites in Nigeria to establish and operate fish processing facilities and ensure higher quality products for marketing onwards. The company’s projected production of smoked fish products for the next one year is about 130 tons from a previous 60 tons.
In April 2017, Uwherake was elected as the 1st Vice Chairperson of the African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network (AWFishNET), a continental network that was established during a consultative workshop organised by AU-IBAR in collaboration with NEPAD Agency and WorldFish. In this role, she will work with the members of the network to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between women fish processor and trader associations, share best practices, experiences, and technologies, advocate for issues affecting their activities, attract increased public and private investment in fish post-harvest activities and expand their market and marketing opportunities for improved intra-regional African fish trade.
“We have also been selected by USDA as one of only two companies in Nigeria allowed to export smoked fish products into the USA, which is also a plus for our company. We also have an ongoing subsisting contract to supply selected packed Agro food items to UN Missions in Africa,” Uwherake reports.
During the visit to the Frijay Consult Ltd facility, NEPAD Agency specialist consultant, Dr Amadou Tall, provided advice to the staff on quality assurance, food handling HCCP - Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point - procedures, processing techniques and technologies to reduce costs and increase economic benefits.
Source: NEPAD Agency