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Programme to develop aquaculture sector launched

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo & Abigail Duodo
Mavis Hawa Koomson (2nd from left), Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, interacting with Ingrid Mollestad, Ambassador of the Royal Norweigian Embassy in Ghana, at the launch of the aquaculture conference and exhibition in Accra. Picture: EBOW HANSON
Mavis Hawa Koomson (2nd from left), Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, interacting with Ingrid Mollestad, Ambassador of the Royal Norweigian Embassy in Ghana, at the launch of the aquaculture conference and exhibition in Accra. Picture: EBOW HANSON

A programme to enable players in the aquaculture industry to work together to promote the sector was launched in Accra yesterday[September 7, 2022].

Dubbed: ”Aquaculture Ghana”, the programme will allow stakeholders to interact and share new ideas, promote businesses and services and showcase latest innovations in the sector’s value chain.

The annual event, which is being organised by the Chamber of Aquaculture (COA), will also be used to recognise stakeholders who have made a difference in the country’s aquaculture industry.

The programme is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2023 on the theme: “Fostering stakeholder collaboration for a sustainable aquaculture industry”.

Commitment

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, who launched the programme, expressed the government’s commitment to grow the industry.

She said aquaculture presented a reliable option for the production of meat to meet the increasing demand for fish.

“As regulators, we remain resolute in creating a conducive environment to improve the state of fisheries and aquaculture through ongoing regulatory reforms to sanitise the industry to enable it to contribute more meaningfully to the sector,” the minister said.

In line with that, she said, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy had been revised to provide strategic direction, adding: “The Ministry of Finance currently has a working team carrying out a feasibility study.”

Madam Koomson said the government would continue to collaborate with stakeholders to improve the sector and create more job opportunities for the youth.

“The ministry envisages to employ about 200,000 people over the five-year period of the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs programme,” she said.

She added that her outfit would organise a Fish Festival in November this year to promote fishery activities in the country.

Rationale

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COA, Jacob Adzikah, said the programme was initiated following a recommendation made at the first Hybrid Aquaculture Conference in 2021.

“We carefully thought about this recommendation, and after several months of consultations with stakeholders, we have created this special event called Aquaculture Ghana,” he said.

Mr Adzikah said although the industry had seen significant growth within the past 20 years, there was still more work to be done to make the sector more viable.

He mentioned major players expected to participate in the programme to include fish farmers, feed producers, academia, hatchery managers and donor agencies.

Collaboration

The CEO of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Akwaboah; the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ingrid Mollestad, and the Head of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ruby Asmah, all acknowledged the potential of the industry and expressed their commitment to collaborate with COA to grow the industry.