Paragon Seafood Products has launched a 400 gram canned horse mackerel product under its Tjao Fish brand to complement the 1 kg glazed horse mackerel consumer pack it launched last year.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau officiated at the launch on Wednesday where he complimented Paragon Seafood for taking the lead in the effort to add value to marine resources.
“Within a period of two years from its first horse mackerel quota allocation, Paragon Seafood Products has managed to transform itself from an ordinary right and quota-holder to a producer, marketer and distributor of value-added consumer seafood products.
“They have not lain low after the introduction of their first value added product last year.
“What is noteworthy about this investment is that Paragon Seafood Products converted its own quota into these valued added products ready for the consumer.
“I am informed they sacrificed much of their dividends and invested in this value added product which targets the low-income segment market of our population.”
Esau said those in the low-income bracket were the most vulnerable section of the population because escalating food prices were increasingly squeezing them out of the market.
He noted that the new product, which is reasonably priced and easily accessible countrywide, would make a considerable contribution towards food security and poverty eradication.
“I am informed that this product is doing extremely well within the Namibian market and that there are plans to expand it into the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region very soon.”
Executive Director of Paragon Seafood Products Stanley Katzao said the company decided to produce consumer products that respond to the needs of the bottom quartile of the population in terms of income.
“This is where the benevolent part of our business comes in because we do not make any profit from this part of our business.
“Our products are available in most villages through chest freezers on a loan basis from Paragon Seafood.
“We have more than 100 now and will continue to expand as resources become available.”
Katzao expressed Paragon’s interest in aquaculture and urged the minister to give them a chance to take over some of the struggling aquaculture projects in the country.
The company has started ploughing back into the community following the N$100,000 donation earmarked for the National Drought Relief Programme.
It also donated 5 tonnes of canned fish to Government, of which 2.5 tonnes will go to the National Drought Relief Programme and 2.5 tonnes to the National School Feeding Programme to augment the feeding basket.