Minister for Fisheries and Aqua Culture Calls for more Formidable Aquaculture Regime in the country.

Story by Carlos Afanou

The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development(MoFAD), Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has called for a more formidable Aquaculture regime in the country.

According to her, the aquaculture sector is endowed with many opportunities hence the formidability of the sector in the country would go along way to reduce fish imports and provide jobs to the unemployed youth particularly in the rural areas.

The Minister made the call at a media workshop organized by the sector Ministry in Accra on Tuesday to sensitize the media on the aquaculture sector.

“With the challenges being faced in the marine subsector, aquaculture presents an important alternative to augment domestic fish production, reduce fish imports and provide additional job opportunities for unemployed youth particularly in rural communities” she said.

Hon. Afoley Quaye however mentioned some challenges that hinders the realization of full potential of aquaculture including inadequate access and low utilization of certified fingerlings due to limited number and capacity of hatcheries.
The other challenges are high cost feed which accounts for about 70% of Aquaculture production cost, inadequate Aquaculture Extension Services, lack of access to physical markets and market information, outbreak of fish diseases among others.

She later revealed that government’s vision as enshrined in the president’s co-ordinated Medium Programme for Economic and Social Policies, is to transform the structure of the fisheries sector from being marine over dependent to ensure the sustainable management of the marine fisheries resources.

“ To achieve this structural transformation, the policy intervention is to provide adequate economic incentives”, Hon. Afoley Quaye emphasized.

“… And when the sector is transformed the aquaculture industry productivity will increase private sector investment in the Aquaculture industry and provide adequate economic incentives”.

According to him promotion of aquaculture to boost the Fisheries industry has been the priority of government adding that the workshop would enable the media to focus more on the sector in order to achieve the objectives of government.

The Deputy Minister further stressed that Ghana consumes more fish than any country in the sub-Sahara adding that “there was therefore the need to direct our investment on aquaculture for food and jobs initiatives introduced by government so we can produce the fish that we eat”.

The Director of Agriculture at MoFAD, Mr. Mathew Oyih, during his presentation, touched the need for the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs Initiatives to be taken seriously as it presents a myriad of opportunities for the youth.

According to him the Ministry had implemented the Youth in aquaculture where the Fisheries Commission provided the youth with reproduction facilities such as fingerlings and other incentives to create an enabling environment for them as well as motivate them.

This helps to provide decent jobs in the aquaculture value chain” Mr. Oyih emphasized.
For his part, the Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission Mr. Michael Arthur Dadzie who also gave a presentation called on the youth to engage massively in the backyard fishing which falls under the aquaculture sector.

He explained that Ghana is endowed with Tilapia and Cat fish and that Nigerians and other African countries have taken advantage of these two species and are cashing in on that sector adding that Ghanaian youth must do same in order to improve upon their livelihood.

Mr. Arthur Dadzie demonstrated how the backyard aquaculture can be started in a small scale using a car tyre and a tarpauline which he said could turn into a big venture in future.
“If you start it small and you do the right thing at the right time, you can benefit a lot from it” he stressed.
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