GHANA - The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Sherry Ayittey has underscored the importance of private sector participation in developing aquaculture as a viable business venture.
She has therefore appealed to private sector actors to support the development of aquaculture along its value chain, especially in the areas of financing and technical assistance for the sector to thrive.
She said the Ministry has created an enabling environment for the private sector to leverage on to help boost aquaculture in the country. The Minister cited the 5-year Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan (GNADP), aimed at enhancing and improving the sector as one key avenue, viable for private sector participation, reports GhanaWeb.
The US$85 million plan, spanning 2013-2018 seeks to increase aquaculture production from 27,250 metric tonnes in 2013 to 100,000 metric tonnes in 2018. The plan is also expected to create an estimated 220,000 jobs across the value chain in aquaculture development.
Madam Ayittey pointed out that "there are opportunities for private sector participation. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based-organizations (CBOs) can take a look at the Plan and identify the areas that they can offer financial and technical assistance to aid the Ministry implement it successfully."
She said: "The Ministry has adopted and implementing policies, programmes and strategies that will channel investment, including private sector investment to the fisheries and aquaculture industry to be one of the leading sectors, contributing significantly to GDP, job creation and foreign exchange earnings."
The Fisheries Minister was speaking at the 32nd annual farmers’ day celebration at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ministry of Fisheries, according to Madam Ayittey, has signed a partnership agreement with a Brazilian Company to implement a "flagship shrimp farming project" under the auspices of a private, public partnership (PPP) arrangement.
"Out-grower scheme will be implemented under the arrangement involving one nucleus fish farmer with 250 out-growers for the first phase. The scheme is expected to produce 30,000 metric tonnes of high valued shrimps annually for export and create 75,000 jobs," she explained.
On the issue of fish feed which remains the major constraint impeding aquaculture development, Madam Ayittey indicated that government has facilitated the construction of a 40,000mt feed mill at Akuse. In addition, the fish Processing factory at Elimina will produce 10,000mt of fish feed and this will further assist farmers with requisite skills and standards for export, she added.
TheFishSite News Desk