By Bright Ntramah
President Akufo-Addo has inaugurated a 12-million-dollar National Aquaculture Centre and commercial farms at Amrahia, in the Adentan Municipality of the Greater Accra region.
The project, according to the President, reinforces the determination of the government to the growth of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
The Centre has aquaculture indoor structures, classrooms, accommodation for students and staff, a mechanic workshop, cold storage facility for chemicals and inputs, and a water reservoir among others.
About 60 per cent of Ghana’s annual protein is derived from the fishing sector, contributing to 11 per cent of Agriculture GDP, and employs about 20 per cent of the nation’s workforce. Last year, Ghana earned about 254 million dollars from the export of fish and fish products.
However, the marine stock is facing significant threats in the form of pollution, biodiversity, ocean dumping, overfishing, and other maritime threats. These affect food security prospects, critical infrastructure and food eco-system.
To address the challenges of dwindling catches from the sea and the increasing demand for fish, the government has given approval for the implementation of the Green House Aquaculture technology system.
The National Aquaculture Centre and commercial farms at Amrahia is a major step to boost food security and help meet the increasing demand for fish. The National Aquaculture Centre and Commercial Farm is aimed at transforming and growing the Aquaculture sector to augment domestic production and reduce fish import.
President Akufo-Addo says the Centre will complement the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s Programme
The 12 million facility will provide technical training to Aquaculture graduates, establish a commercial fish farm to generate revenue for the sustainability of the centre and utilise state-of-the-art technology to increase the total annual production for the Aquaculture subsector.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the Centre will complement the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s Programme in Agriculture for food and jobs and reaffirmed the government’s determination to reduce graduates’ unemployment.
He was hopeful that the Centre will be well managed to achieve its purpose of training and also produce fish in high quantities to generate sufficient income to sustain the centre.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, said the Ministry has prepared a new Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan for sustainable development of the Aquaculture subsector.
To achieve the overall objective of the project, a modern and advanced Aquaculture technology will be employed with the goal of producing 50 thousand metric tons of fish within five years.
The project will also train and set up 200 aquapreneurs within five years, increase employment opportunities for fish farmers through modernised Aquaculture technology, engage youth graduates and women in the Aquaculture value chain, improve income security and reduce poverty in the project areas.