Introducing dehydrated fish processing technique to fisher women in Panama

Introducing dehydrated fish processing technique to fisher women in Panama

Introducing dehydrated fish processing technique to fisher w ... , Panama © Kumudini Ekaratne, IUCN, 2012


Technology for processing and dehydrating of excessive fish catch in Panama is introduced and utilized


Panama is a marginalized and previously tsunami and conflict affected area. This area is also prone to severe drought as well as floods. The main income comes from fisheries and agriculture and both are seasonal. During high yielding season, fish caught are being sold at low rate or some times wasted.  The need for some kind of preservation mechanism for the excessive harvest is essential.


  • Formation of two womens groups (Panama South and Panama North)
  • Procuring of 02 stainless steel dehydrators
  • Procuring 02 sets of processing utencils
  • Conducting two training programs on operating and maintaining of equipments
  • Procuring of 02 Sealers 
  • Sending samples for testing and deciding expiry dates
  • Introduce the products to the market


Target beneficiaries

15 fisher families each from Abeysinghepura and Shahastravela (Panama) 


  • Two trained women's groups practicing dehydrated fish processing
  • Equipments for processing and  dehydrating  provided to each women groups
  • Marketing of processed fish product from Panama, facilitated by the Grantee (GMSL)

Accomplishments and challenges


  • 30 women are actively engaged in production of de-hydrated fish under hygenic conditions.
  • The monthly income of a member from this new venture ranged from USD 50 to 75.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Women are now able to prepare dry fish without being affected by climatic condition prevailing in the area.

The project catered exclusively to women (30).

Lessons Learned

  • The first dehydrator installed used paddy husks as a fuel for burner, but paddy husks had a bad odour when they burned and also affected the quality of dehydrated fish. Sawdust was used instead and was successful and improved the quality of the production.
  • When the project commenced it was the season to harvest lobsters, and during this time, the community does not engage in catching fish.  When fishermen found small fish in lobster pots, they used these small fish in test trials to get used to the new machines and to improve the quality of the project.


Project Facts






1st Oct 2012 to 31st Mar 2013

MFF Grant Amount

LKR 855,000/-

Co-financing Partner

GMSL - LKR 58,000/=

Community- LKR 60,000/=

Implementing Partner

Mr Suranjan Kodithuwakku
Green Movement of Sri Lanka (GMSL)
No. 9, 1st Lane, Wanatha Road
Sri Lanka
Tel: + 94 11-2817156
Fax: + 94 11-4805274

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