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Meet the farmer: Wilfred Agbi

26-year-old Wilfred Agbi runs Weija Farms, a catfish hatchery and an “aquaculture evangelism” agency in Ghana that aims to train up young people who are looking to establish their own fish farms.

16 November 2021, at 7:30am
Man standing by a white background
Wilfred Agbi studied at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

How long have you been farming?

I started farming in September 2019, when I started Weija Farms, which I run with Issah Mahmoud and two assistants.

What size is your farm and what species do you produce?

Presently we produce 30,000 catfish fingerlings every month, which we sell at the farm gate. We have a busy evangelism schedule. We are regularly on the road, mostly in the Eastern and Volta region, assisting people to start fish farms at home or on their farms. We also provide them with training and technical support.

Why did you decide to embark on a career in aquaculture?

I started Weija Farms because I was keen on putting into practice the ideas I had developed as a student. I had been inspired by two lecturers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Daniel Adjei-Boateng and Professor Nelson Agbo. This was compounded by my internship at Lee’s farm from June to August 2017. Mr Lee, recently deceased owner of Lee’s farm on the Volta Lake, was a successful, professional farmer who paid great attention to the application of sound management principles.

I was also struck by the vital role aquaculture could play in the national economy, to slash the currently huge fish import bill, to provide jobs, to provide a stable source of protein for Ghanaians.

Man in a facemask standing next to two outdoor fish ponds
Agbi helps people in the Volta region start fish farms on their property

What’s your ultimate ambition in the sector?

Weija Farms’ strategy is to increase the numbers and output of fish farmers, and to make high quality technical management accessible to fish farmers. Although aquaculture has improved significantly in Ghana in recent years, there is a noticeable need for better quality management, especially relating to water, feed, health and biosecurity. I want to make a major contribution to aquaculture in Ghana by installing the first major cage farm outside the Volta Lake, on the Weija Lake. Weija Farms has already acquired a site, and within the next couple of years the structures will be in place.

What’s your biggest worry at work?

Although we are satisfied with the difference we have been making in the work of our clients, we are limited by lack of modern equipment, and we would like to access high quality equipment.

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What’s your greatest achievement to date?

I am proud of the fact that my work has been noticed by some important international agencies. I was selected among a small number of West African technical personnel for a training course run by the USDA and the American Soya Association last month.

Man spraying water on compacted soil
Agbi is gaining international recognition for his work

I am also being sponsored to attend Aquaculture Africa 2021, a four-day international conference themed "Sustainable Aquaculture – Feeding Africa", which is taking place from 11 to 14 December in Alexandria. Currently, I am attending an 11-month Agribusiness course in Lod, Israel sponsored by Agrostudies Israel. I must mention that we depend on the internet to a great extent, so even when I am not physically present at Weija, I am able to join my colleagues to work from our website.

What’s your favourite seafood dish?

Tilapia, of course. It’s such a great, tasty fish. I love tilapia sausages with potato or yam chips. I also love grilled tilapia with banku and sauce.