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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 85
MAY 15 - JUIN 14, 2006
Previous Issue
Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR


Dear visitor and international investor,


We warmly welcome you, if this is your first visit to Africabiz Online - The ultimate newsletter on trading and investing in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

- FREELANCE WORLDWIDE

Today, May 14, 2006, Africabiz is launching a new service platform: Freelance Worlwide.

It is a service platform where entrepreneurs / projects owners and experts / freelancers meet to swap, jobs and expertise worldwide - in any line of legitimate and legal business.

Click here for User's Manual, How it works and Jobs' categories.
To go straight to Freelance Wordwide Platform's entry page click here
For Terms & Conditions to using businessafrica.net' several platforms, click here
For global Privacy Policy applied by businessafrica.net go here
Click here for Freelancers' Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for Projects_Owners' Frequently Asked Questions.

1- Do you work part-time as a freelancer or as a contractor? A programmer, a Web designer? Are you a typist, a translator? Do you draft Business Plans? Whatever may be your line of business, as far as you have access to the Internet and have good knowledge of IT's productivity tools, Freelance Worldwide is your international marketplace to bids for jobs.

Get for Free a freelancer account at Freelance Worldwide to bid on jobs. Pay a small commission, only if you are picked to work on the job.


2-
The world of virtual employees is here at Freelance Worldwide, and business' managers everywhere are recognizing the benefits of contracting with freelancers at the international marketplace instead of hiring permanent workers. Business-owners are discovering that there's often a better value for their dollar when they outsource jobs and hire freelancers.

Pick the most suitable bid and get the work done. It is Free to register at Freelance Worldwide and post Jobs. You pay commission only when you pick the best bidder for the job.


3- With Freelance Worldwide, business' owners had a tremendous tool at their disposal to outsource staffing and hire the best expertise available in the world at large. They can free internal resources to focus on other specific tasks that require confidentiality. On their part, freelancers using Freelance Worldwide would get in contact with international projects-owners who truly have need for their expertise.

4- Developing countries' ministries worldwide - African countries' governments in particular - also have a tremendous opportunity to lower the cost of hiring seasoned experts from all over the world to carry out developing projects - if such expertise in not available locally. They just need to post the job / project on Freelance Worldwide and pick the best freelancer available to do the job. The cost of hiring is the lowest in the trade using Freelance Worldwide Platform.

Click here to read more about: "Halt Your Staffing Woes Through Outsourcing"


- Contributor's Guidelines are here to review. Your contribution on "How emerging nations and particularly African countries / entrepreneurs could bridge the developing gap" is welcome.

Your feedback / objection / contribution is welcome. Visit WorldWide BizCenter, and choose General Information (as topic) to create a thread for discussion. On the top of the WorldWide BizCenter page, there is a HELP link to assist you making an efficient use of the discussion board. This link also is useful


Many thanks for dropping by and see you here on June 15, 2006.

Dr. B.M. Quenum

Editor of AFRICABIZ

Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


- Several business opportunities - component parts of the Integrated Developing Scheme described in Africans, Stop Being Poor! are listed in following table.


a- SHEA BUTTER (5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13)
b- BLUE GOLD (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
c- FREEZE-DRIED PAPAIN (20, 21, 22 and here)
d- KENAF (23, 24)
e- VEGETABLE OIL (25, 26, 27, 28)
f- CEREALS (30, 31, 32, 33)
g- FRUITS (34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46)
h- ESSENTIAL OILS (47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52)
i- ROOTS & TUBERS (54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64)
j- FOWL BREEDING (66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76)
k- FISH FARMING (78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86

- FISH FARMING AS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: PART VIII - INTRODUCTION TO THE PROCESSING OF RAW FISH TO ADDED VALUED PRODUCTS

As shown on the figure below (extracted from a report by Helga Josupeit), fish is the most important foreign exchange earner among all agriculture products traded by developing countries. Net export earnings exceeded US$ 18 billions in 2000, which compares to US$ 10 billion in 1990, and only US$ 3 billion in 1980.

Coffee experienced the opposite development with net exports going down during this period from US$ 10 billions to US$ 7 billion. All the other commodities are also much less important for foreign exchange earnings. [Source: Helga Josupeit, FAO-GLOBEFISH, June 2003, Rome, Italia - Click here to get the report in PDF]

NET EXPORTS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' COMMODITIES
Courtesy of Helga Josupeit

One sees the staggering fish volume produced and exported by developing countries compared to other commodities such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, sugar, and rice. One has to notice, however, that China and Thailand account each for US$ 4 billion (2003) - that is 46% of the total. The remaining 54% is controlled at 98.5% by other South-East Asia countries and particularly by Taiwan and Vietnam. Sub-Saharan African countries are simply not in the picture.

When one considers processed fish (dried, salted and smoked) the situation is even worse for sub-Saharan African countries, which account for less than .05 percent of the trade as revealed by exports statistics available on intracen.org

That is the reason Africabiz Online dedicated several issues to fish production (78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85) and, particularly issues 84 and 85, that dealt with ponds' production of two well known fish species that are common food staples in African countries: tilapia and catfish - to expose the existing potential to African decisions makers and would-be investors.

Considering that first the offer does not cover demand in each single sub-Saharan African country, and, second, that there is also a gap between demand and offer in developed countries (demand far exceeding offer - as exposed in Mrs Josupeit's report,) one can assert that fish production is an economic activity that could assist boosting the developing in African countries.

Post harvest handling and losses

In sub-Saharan African countries, the already non-sufficient offer (far below the actual demand) is further depleted by huge post harvest losses that are estimated at 20-30% - for post marine harvest. Indeed, most of the time, fresh fish that had not been sold 4 hours after the harvest are lost for consumption - as African producers are not equipped with cool tanks and sometimes cannot get ice block to preserve the catch.

Therefore, the need to process raw fish to added valued products that could be stored for longer periods.

In this delivery we consider constraints pertaining to small-scale operations to smoke fresh fish in African countries. A latter delivery will deal with medium to large scale operations.


- BRIEFS ABOUT FISH PROCESSING TO SMOKED FISH


General Considerations

Fish smoking (and meat smoking also) is a practice that dated back to ages in African countries. It help reducing waste when catches are good, prolongs the shelf-life of the fish, and therefore increases protein availability to people.

Most of the time, about 80% of the harvest is consumed fresh and the remaining 20% is processed to smoked product by villages' women using craft-made smoking methods. Carp, Tilapia and Catfish are the most smoked fish.

However, there is still more work to be done to reduce the losses that occur during and after fish processing (smoking) because the technology used by traditional African transformers is rustic, non-reliable with regards the quality of the output. The final texture and gustative quality of one processed batch may differ from another depending on the freshness of the initial raw fish, the specie of the fire-wood used and the preliminary preparation applied to the fresh fish. Further, fresh fish are not or not efficiently brined before the smoking process. Sometimes it is not even salted.

Traditionally, African transformers do not fillet fish before smoking it. They smoke-dry large fish (catfish) that are either cut into portions or "round up" - putting the fish-tail into the month; and whole small-size catfish and tilapia.

Fish' smoking methods

There are two methods to smoking fish cold-smoking and hot-smoking.

Both processes are carried out at temperatures of 80°C and above, which is high enough to cook the fish. Hot smoked process takes about 1 -3 hours and yields a product with about 35 -45 % moisture content, but with a limited shelf-life of 1 - 3 days at ambient temperatures.

The smoke-dry process takes about 10 - 18 hours, and sometimes 3 - 4 days and yields fish of 10 - 15% moisture content, sometimes even below 10% with a shelf-life of 3 - 9 months when stored properly. Unfortunately due to the atmospheric moisture content that average 80 percent in most African countries, processed (smoked) fish may quickly be invaded by insects and worms - as, after processing, the fish is not wrapped up in sealed vacuumed plastic bag or in air-tight containers that could prevent air penetration, humidification and subsequent rotting.

Fish smoking equipment

The more sophisticated common fish processing equipment in use in West Africa's coastal fish landing centers is the modified chokor oven

Developed by the Ghana Food Research Institute and the FAO the Chokor Oven is made of rectangular enclosed walls, divided into compartments of 1.5m long x 1m high and 1.5m wide. Each compartment has a front door/stoke hole to access the fire place. The fish are placed on metal grills for smoking. It is easy to use, has a high capacity, uses little fuelwood, results in shorter smoking time and produces high-quality smoked fish.

The oven was popularized in Ghana through a number of training programs and promoted by the participatory approach. But the Chokor oven had not been popularized in other African countries even in those surrounding Ghana (Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast - Click here for countries' briefs.)

Women-transformers who do not have access to these ovens often use poorly constructed traditional fish smoking ovens (made of three to four stones rounding fuelwood fire, topped by an iron grill.) These smoking ovens (and African cooking furnaces in general) have very low operating capacity (cannot handle more than 2 kg to 3 kg of fresh fish) and not efficient - making the smoking process hours lasting operations. Further, they are fuelwood's guzzler that do not help preserving forests and groves in African countries. The traditionaloperating capacity and efficiency is very low. [Click here to review an academic article that give instructions and propose furnace designs to smoke fish at very small-scale - at home.]

How to resolve the recurrent problem of firewood' scarcity in African countries?

Fuelwood is scarce in African countries and African women fish-transformers are always battling and using huge energy to collect dead wood, twigs and sprigs (under darting sun rays) to operate rustic cooking and fish smoking furnaces. In previous deliveries [23, 24] Africabiz introduced Kenaf tree that could be the solution to preserving forests in African countries and providing abundant fuelwood.

Indeed, Kenaf has an extremely fast growth rate. After five weeks, the plant is already four to five feet tall (1.22 to 1.50 meter). After six months, the plant is fully grown and has attained a height of 12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.6 meter) into a forest of narrow poles and leaf-colored branches as shown on illustrations available in issue 23

Kenaf is a wonder plant. You may review again deliveries 23, 24 to see that Kenaf is indeed a multipurpose plant which can be used as an "economic catalyst" /central operation for the economic development of a country's region as here exposed. It is a perfect "Income Building Power" operation; labor intensive and foreign currency provider or saver. Capable of generating the "Synergetic Impact Factor" here available

MORE ON FISH FARMING
1- How to Start and Manage a Fish Farming Business
by Jerre G. Lewis
2- Integrated Fish Farming
by Workshop on Integrated Fish Farming
3- Catfish farming handbook
by Jerry Mack Johnson
4- Commercial Catfish Farming
by Jasper S. Lee
5-
Cage Culture Of Tilapia
In Rural Farm Ponds

An article from: Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science [HTML]
(Digital - January 1, 2000)
6- Backyard Fish Farming
by Paul Bryant

7- Intensive Fish Farming
by Jonathan Shepherd, Niall Bromage
8- Second International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture:
by Thai International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture 1987 Bangkok, et al (Hardcover - January 1990)
9- Tilapia Culture
by Abdel-fattah M. El-sayed, A. F. M. Sayed (Hardcover - February 2006)
10- Tilapias: Biology and Exploitation
by M.C.M Beveridge (Editor), B. McAndrew (Editor)

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