OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
SEVERAL fishermen in Siavonga are stuck with loads of fresh kapenta because most buyers have temporality stopped buying the commodity for fear it would go to waste due to lack of enough sunshine to dry it.
A snap survey by The Sun in the Lake Kariba shore town revealed that this lack of business for fresh kapenta has forced the commodity price for a crate to plummet to K200, from K380 last month.
And a check at Kanyelele harbour this morning, found several fishermen stranded with fresh kapenta as buyers, mostly local businesswomen, were not buying the commodity for fear that it may not dry due to the current rainy conditions in the area during the last three days.
Despite Siavonga being one of the biggest producer of fresh kapenta fish in Zambia, it has no modern facilities for drying of the fish and people only rely on sunshine to dry it.
Some fishermen spoken complained that they have experienced huge losses lately because of the rainy conditions there.
They were hopeful though that the situation may change soon so that they continue with their business.
‘’We depend on sunshine to dry our kapenta, so with these dark clouds hanging over the skies, we are stranded with the fish as the customers are no longer buying,” complained one fisherman.
And a Mr. Kambalangwe called on Government to look for investors that would setup fish processing factories in Siavonga in order to promote value addition.
He said that value addition in the fish industry can create lots of employment for the youths most of whom are just roaming the streets.
Last year, some local farmers in the area blamed lack of enough rains in area on the Kapenta fishermen whom they claimed were using charms to stop the rainfall in order not to disrupt their fishing operations.