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National Aquaculture Development Plan Unveiled

GHANA - Ghanas National Aquaculture Development Plan has been unveiled with the aim of providing the capacity for fish farmers to increase production. The plan, unveiled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), targets 100,000 tons of fish for the country by 2016.

The GNADP provides a roadmap where aquaculture will contribute significantly to food and nutritional security, employment generation, increased incomes, economic growth and poverty reduction.

The implementation of the five-year comprehensive medium term plan would cost a little over $84 million. Close to $66,000 would be contributed by the government while public investment takes care of remaining $18,000, reports DailyGraphic

The plan, among other objectives, aims at providing a geographic information system involving an indicative mapping of high potential aquacultural areas where fish farming is feasible.

It is also expected to facilitate increased supply of high quality fish seed by the private sector to fish farmers in high priority aquaculture zones to be established.

Furthermore, it is expected to assist more fish farmers to access funds more easily on competitive terms for investment in aquaculture business.

When implemented, the plan is expected to increase the market share of commercial fish farming in Ghana from $28,440 in 2010 to an estimated $362,000 in 2016.

The current annual output from aquaculture is estimated at 10,200 tonnes as compared to an output of 1,000 tonnes in 2005; 3,800 in 2007 and 7,100 in 2009 respectively.

Speaking at a ceremony to present the plan to the government, the Country Representative of the FAO, Mr Musa S. Mbenga, noted that it was clear that the aquaculture trends in Ghana over the last few years had been on the rise and that was a positive course that testified to the fact that the nation had the potential to improve on its current fish farming output to make even greater contributions to food security and economic growth.

He observed that the governments partnership with the FAO had provided the solid foundation necessary to be able to attract and guide the needed investment to be able to see another major increase in the countrys aquaculture production.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Fisheries, Nii Amasa Namoale, who received the report on behalf of the government, said it would be implemented to the letter to position fish farming to overtake marine fishing.

The chairman of the Fisheries Commission, Mr Mike Acheampong, shared the sentiment that the initiative would help bridge the gap between supply and demand.

According to him, even though the country consumed some 800,000 tonnes of fish, it could only produce half of that, leaving a shortfall of 400,000.

Lucy Towers

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