Business News of 2014-01-18

South Dayi tilapia project funds safe

The managers of the South Dayi District Tilapia Project have assured investors that it has in place effective measures to run and expand its operations to secure shareholders’ funds and thus, boost public confidence in the project.

The assurance follows recent reports of alleged shady activities by some players in the tilapia farming business leading to a drop in investor confidence in fish farming.

The Operations Director of the Safeway Group, the managers of the project, Mr Della Geraldo, said “Our project, which is a public-private partnership between the Safeway Group and the South Dayi District Assembly is ongoing and we have always endeavoured to boost investor confidence by involving them directly in our operations”.

He pointed out in an interview that every month, investors and other stakeholders were invited to the project sites at Abui and Gjakiti in the Volta Region, “To do their own assessment of our activities”.

He said the group had plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to set up a training centre at Abui to offer refresher courses to fish farmers and also ran three-month courses for people who wished to start their own farms.

The operations director said the Group would soon begin shrimp farming at Sege and Ada in the Greater Accra Region and Denu in the Volta Region, where top quality shrimps would be produced for export.

“We are committed to the national job creation and poverty alleviation drive and we will not do anything to derail that laudable pursuit,” Mr Geraldo stressed.

The various initiatives, he said, were also aimed at improving the revenue generation capacity of the district assemblies in the operational areas.

The South Dayi project, initiated in June, 2011 is the first public-private partnership (PPP) in the aquaculture subsector, and is in line with the Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan (GNADP), which was launched on July 3, 2013 by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.

The farm has several plastic - Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) hatchery and production cages, and has recently added some High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) cages. Its new state-of-the art hatchery has the capacity to produce three million fingerlings in a month.

The project covers a total land area of five acres and water area of three hectares.

The hatchery was built by the Tilapia Services Limited of The Netherlands and a team of technical consultants from India, led by Mr Nanga Moral.

The Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Aquinas Quansah, at a recent ceremony to inaugurate the Abui site gave the assurance that the ministry would continue to facilitate such ventures through the provision of relevant infrastructure such as motorable roads leading to the project sites, electricity, markets, telecommunications as well as technical guidance.

The Minister hinted that this year, “The Ministry will embark on two major initiatives under the West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP), first; to strengthen the capacity of aquaculture associations to provide business advisory services for existing and potential investors in medium and large scale ventures”.

That, he said, was to support trade and business development, technology transfer and training of individual farmers and associations to operate along business lines to enable them to receive financial support from the various financial institutions in the country.

The second initiative would support new individual small scale aquaculture investors who present viable business plans with training programmes and credit facilities.

The District Chief Executive for South Dayi, Mr Kafui Semenu Bekoe, also said there were plans to increase the production of tilapia at the Abui site for export and appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for continuous assistance.

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