The money will be used for the construction of ice making factory and equipment for drying sardines both aimed at adding value to fish products.
Speaking during the event to present the cheque to the Association, the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega said in order to attain that goal, fishermen should work hard as there was no shortcut to development.
He said during its first years, the fifth phase government had placed robust strategies that ensured fishermen are trusted to be given loans from TADB.
“In five years since its establishment, TADB has provided more than170b/- loans in the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors and for the first time since independence fishermen are now being trusted to receive loans and that fish is not a seasonal crop, but perennial,” Ulega said.
He thus urged them to be patriotic and trustworthy in managing the funds they have been provided with and advised the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau in the district to advise association members over the need for honesty and not to wait until things start going wrong.
He added: “The government’s strategy is to establish cooperatives for livestock keepers and fishermen and in regard to fishermen the available statistics are fine but when you repay the loans I will be your advocate and persuade the TADB to give you more loans.”
TADB Managing Director Japhet Justine said fishing is a very important sector in Lake Victoria as there is an abundance of fish and what is needed is to engage in modern fishing methods, in order to realise President John Magufuli’s dreams.
He said the fishermen have succeeded to get the loan after the Livestock and Fisheries Ministry had ensured that the fishing methods would be modern.
“We want an ice making factory and equipment for drying the sardines that has the capacity to preserve the fish up to one year… .. We are doing this to ensure our resources become beneficial as it is the period for competition hence the products’ quality is important and TADB will never abandon you,” Justine said.
The board chairman of Bukasiga Fisherman Association Erasto Majula said the association has 62 members and own three land plots for their fishing activities.
He said in one plot of one acre they will construct the ice making factory, another one will be for drying sardines, and the third will cater for offices and a shed for 22 houses to be used as fishermen’s’ camp.
“Our aim is to increase employment opportunities for our youth and women, add value to fish products and enhance their preservation capacity,” Majula added.