Paiche processing plant opening. (Photo: Alex Pazuello, amazonas.am.gov.br)
First 'Amazon Cod' plant opened
Friday, August 26, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
In Maraã, at a distance of about 635 km from Manaus, the first manufacturing plant of "Cod from Amazonia," produced from pirarucu or paiche (Arapaima gigas), has just opened.
The plant opening was led by the governor of Manaus, Omar Aziz. The event was also attended by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Luiz Sergio de Oliveira; the Secretary of State for Rural Production, Eron Bezerra; the mayor of Maracay, Dilmar Avila; and the Senator Vanessa Grazziotin.
The governor accompanied the entire paiche production process, whose end product has a guaranteed market even outside the state.
Part of the production from the plant in Maraã will be sold to supermarkets from Pan de Azúcar network. Earlier this year, the chain signed an agreement with the government to buy fish from the negotiations carried out in the State Sustainable Development Reserves (RDS).
In addition to the factory in Maraã, which has the capacity to process 1,500 tonnes of fish a year, a second plant will be opened in late 2011 in Fonte Boa, about 680 kilometres from Manaus.
It is expected that the second plant reaches an average annual production of 3,000 tonnes.
The factories will be supplied with fish from the management areas, such as the reserve in Mamirauá and others RDS in the region.
According to the governor Aziz, this is the type of project favoured in the Amazon due to its sustainability and to the fact that it ensures the development of the entire fish production chain.
It is estimated that only with the installation of this first plant 150 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs will be generated.
According to the Minister Luiz Sérgio de Oliveira, the cod industry in the Amazon will be successful, given that Brazil is the second largest cod consumer after Portugal.
Secretary of Rural Production, Eron Bezerra, highlighted that besides the agreement with Pan de Azúcar group, it has been agreed with the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants (Abrasel/AM) on the direct marketing of these industrial products.
Along with the industrialization process, a seal to ensure that the manufacturing process complies with current legislation will be created, with the approval of the Commission of Animal and Plant Health Protection (Codesav) and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Thanks to this tool, the control authorities will be able to act more rigorously in the checking process to prevent the illegal marketing of these products.
The industrialization process also causes an appreciation of fish: while a kilo of fresh fish was bought from fishermen for BRL 3.00 (approximately EUR 1.30), now it will be paid BRL 5.50 (EUR 2.39) to be delivered to the cod factory.
Further, fishermen will also participate in part of the profits after marketing the product on the market.
To start with, the plant management will be the responsibility of Acai Foundation, linked to the Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA), with the participation of the municipal administration and local fishermen's colony.
The idea is that in the future the fishermen themselves will be able to manage the business.
By Silvina Corniola