Smoking fish with a chorkor
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1986. Smoking fish with a chorkor. Spore 3. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44474
A breakthrough has been made in the African fishery sector. Many African countries lose a large part of their catch through poor conservation. In particular, they have only a limited capacity for smoking fish and the traditional ovens they use are...
A breakthrough has been made in the African fishery sector. Many African countries lose a large part of their catch through poor conservation. In particular, they have only a limited capacity for smoking fish and the traditional ovens they use are not very efficient: they are very slow, use up too much energy and the end-product is unsatisfactory. Last but not least, they produce a lot of smoke which is extremely unpleasant for the women who provide most of the labour in this severely underpaid activity. The chorkor would appear to offer a cheap but convincing solution to these problems. This fishsmoking device has a long life span (15 years), is simple to operate and has a large production capacity for a small consumption of firewood. The chorkor is a rectangular brick oven with two low openings at the front for stoking the fire. The flat top section is covered with 12 to 15 smoking plates and has several concave storage plates made up of wire mesh set in a wooden framework. The plates form a smoking chamber or 'chimney' which conserves heat and allows the smoke to circulate, ensuring that the end-product is of high and uniform quality. This method of drying fish by smoking it usually takes between 10 and 18 hours and enables the fish to be kept for nine months. The technique was invented in Ghana in 1970 and then gradually adopted in Guinea, Togo and Guinea Bissau. In Guinea, FAO and UNICEF have helped draw up a fish smoking project. This aims to organise about 300 women into a cooperative arrangement which would use advanced techniques for smoking and selling fish. The cooperative would build new stoves and shelters in brick, increase the quantity and quality of fish smoked, raise the income of the women and improve working conditions Togo has undergone a similar experience: women from this country went to Ghana to learn how to use the new apparatus. Ten prototypes will be set up at strategic points along the coast and technical advice will be available for those who want to build their own stoves Finally, in Guinea Bissau, as part of an integrated UNDP development project in the Bijagos islands, two local craftsmen have built a stove of this type. A two-year programme is now under way designed to spread the use of this apparatus throughout the seven islands of the archipelago.