Network advocate for policy on aquaculture biosecurity
THE Development Action Association (DAA) Ghana, a network of fisher and farmer-based organisations, is advocating for a policy on aquaculture biosecurity to ensure fish farming safeguards the ecosystem.
It admitted that Ghana’s aquatic ecosystem supports diverse aquatic life and sustains the livelihoods of those who are dependent on the aquatic environment.
However, it said the ecosystem is faced with some negative business practices that cause outbreaks of diseases that can spread rapidly, causing substantial economic losses, hence the urgent need for the policy.
The Executive Director of DAA, Lydia Sasu, made the call at a food crops exhibition to celebrate the International World of Rural Women last Monday in Accra.
The event, organised in partnership with Yara Ghana and GIZ AgriBiz programme on the theme “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”, highlighted the essential role that women play in the world’s food system.
It witnessed an exhibition where primary and value-added products were displayed to acknowledge the skills and knowledge of members of the association.
“Fish farming must protect wild species and promote healthy, productive, and resilient water-use ecosystem, including domestic jobs and services,” Ms Sasu said.
Supporting rural women in agribusiness
A representative from GIZ, Henry Fordi Coffie, said rural women played a crucial role in the agricultural value chain and the overall development of the rural economy.
He said despite their contributions to society, rural women face many challenges, including gender stereotyping and discrimination, low educational attainment and limited access to land, finance, training, market and technology and extension services.
“We believe that when women are given the resources they need and are supported in all aspects of their lives, they will continually and sustainably create positive change. In this context, we support more than 3,000 rural women in Ghana through our partner associations,” he said.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, said her ministry was committed to advancing the agenda of women in aquaculture.
Highlighting some of the initiatives introduced by the ministry and its agencies to address some challenges faced by women in the fisheries and aquaculture industry, she said through the intervention of the ministry and the Fisheries Commission, women have access to technology and innovation that have given them a strong basis and impacted positively on society.
“Women can now process their fish in safe and hygienic conditions using improved fish processing ovens such as the FAO Thiaroye Processing Technology and the Ahotor Oven,” she said.
She said the Ministry and Fisheries Commission, in partnership with the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing the Safe Fish Certification and Licensing Scheme (SFCLS).
She said the scheme, which audits the catching, landing, transporting, processing, packaging, storage and marketing of fish along the value chain, will guarantee consumption of healthy fish.