Business News of 2014-06-11

Prez Mahama outlines plans to increase fish production

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday announced that government had rolled out measures to increase fish production that would subsequently reduce the importation of the commodity.

He mentioned the establishment of 15 nuclear farms and 195 out grower farms as some of the immediate measures the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture development had embarked on. President Mahama said this when he inaugurated and dedicated the Ghavie Aquaculture Company Limited Pilot Shrimp farming project at Ada-Foah in the Greater Accra Region.

The Company, a private initiative between Ghana and Vietnam was incorporated in August 2013. It is aimed at pioneering and building a shrimp marine culture industry in Ghana that would provide jobs, foreign exchange, and contribute to food security in the country and beyond.

The Ghavie project, which has a hatchery, the first in Ghana and Atlantic Coast of Africa, has the capacity to produce 15 million shrimp post larvae per month, create 2000 jobs for Ghanaians within a period of five years and reduce over dependence on pre-mix fuel for fishing.

President Mahama said government would also support groups and individuals to establish small scale fishing enterprises, and provided with inputs and technical assistance and ready market to increase production. The President encouraged students especially those on national service to embrace the programme to become job creators and not job seekers as had been the case in the past.

He gave the assurance that surveillance at all the coastal areas would also be strengthened in the country to ward off all unorthodox fishing methods that for some time now, dragged Ghana's fishing methods to disrepute at the international levels. Mr Nayon Bilijo, out-going Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, said the use of unorthodox fishing methods had been detrimental to fishery development.

He said the European Union, for example, threatened to ban the importation of fish products from Ghana because of the use of agro-chemicals in fishing, creating panic on the international market. He gave the assurance that such threats had been reviewed because of government’s fight against the unorthodox practice, which had so far yielded a lot of dividends.

The Minister said the Ministry would establish small scale fish farming for communities throughout the country to create jobs and improve on the protein needs of Ghanaians. Mr A.K Armah, Director and Scientist in-charge of the project, said the Ghavie project would work around the clock to become a multi- purpose facility that would do everything independently and locally.

He promised that the company would revolutionalise Aquaculture to provide constant protein and also create numerous jobs for the youth in Ada and the coastal areas of the country. The Director appealed for the establishment of special school on Aquaculture and promised to provide all the necessary technical advice that would benefit the company and other potential ones in the country.

Nene Abraham Kabu Akuoko, Paramount Chief of Ada, appealed to government to continue to bring in investors that would be ready to create job opportunities for the youth of the area and promised to release adequate lands for such ventures. He said the traditional area abound with a number of natural resources and called for partnership that would lead to development to restrain the youth from migrating to Accra and other urban centres for non-existent jobs.