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Minister Calls for More Aquaculture Ventures

GHANA - Ghana's Minister for Fisheries has called for more people to go into aquaculture in a bid to reduce fish imports into the country.

Gladys Asmah made the appeal when inaugurating Central Regional Fish Farmers Association (CEREFFA) in Cape Coast this week.

She said Ghana imported $200,000,000 annually to make up for the annual deficit and aquaculture could produce enough fish to offset the deficit of about 400,000 metric tons of the country’s fish requirements.

According to Modern Ghana, Mrs Asmah said it was in line with that the Ministry was “aggressively pursuing” the Aquaculture Development Policy as a profitable business venture and not as a hobby.

Mrs Asmah said the policy was supported by the "stark fact and reality that the country’s marine resources continued to dwindle resulting in low catch by fishermen".

She said the aquaculture industry was a very good potential therefore, the Ministry was evolving strategies to address constraints such as quality fish seed and feed, inadequate extension services and support, market and the emerging threat of security, Modern Ghana reports.

Mrs Asmah said the Ministry was in this regard, supporting a UN FAO project in the Volta Basin to develop a fast growing Specie, the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) that would make fish farming commercially and economically attractive, adding that GIFT would take about four to six months to mature for harvesting.

She said other strategies were that most fish farmers had been encouraged to produce quality fingerlings to supply farmers and out-growers, while the Ministry beefed up staff of the Fisheries Directorate with expertise and skills to assist fish farmers with extension services. Mrs Asmah commended the formation of the association that would provide a platform to discuss their problems and challenges, exchange ideas and equipment.

View the Modern Ghana story by clicking here.