MOFAD implements Aquaculture Development Programme to supplement fish supply
The Ministry of Fisheries in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission is redirecting its energy into aquaculture development in a bit to supplement the decline of fish stock in the marine sector.

Date Created : 8/27/2020 4:09:27 AM : Story Author : Dominic Shirimori/

The sector Minister, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye told journalists at a media training workshop on aquaculture development held in Accra that, “Government vision as enshrined in the President’s Coordinated Medium Programme for Economic and Social Policies is, therefore, to transform the structure of the fisheries sector from being marine over-dependent to ensure the sustainable management of the marine fisheries resources”.

To this end, she said a number of initiatives have been instituted to boost aquaculture in the country.

According to her, the sector has been a major contributor to the national economy in the area of food and nutrition security, foreign exchange earnings, and job creation. Adding, aquaculture provides between 12-17 percent domestic productions.

She noted that the country is endowed with the requisite resources such as land, wetlands, rivers, water bodies, and human resources for extensive aquaculture, and the government intends to harness these resources to not only meet nutritional needs of its people but also create livelihoods for the citizenry, particularly the youth.

The Minister disclosed that there is currently an ongoing implementation of an Aquaculture Development Programme to achieve this transformational agenda in the sector. This, she said will involve four pillars, namely;
• Implementation of Aquaculture for food and jobs initiative;
• Extension services delivery and capacity enhancement;
• Aquaculture Infrastructure Development; and
• Fish Disease Containment and Prevention Programme

Under the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs initiative, which is already underway, unemployed youth are being mobilized into Aquaculture Enterprise Groups and supported with the necessary aquaculture inputs including fingerlings, fish feed, ponds, tanks, and cages to engage in fish farming.

The programme which is estimated to create 3000 direct and indirect jobs is also hoped to produce 33,628 mt of fish annually.

The Ministry she said has piloted the programme in some selected institutions namely the James Camp Prisons, Pentecost Youth Association, Wenchi Youth Association, Osei Tutu Senior High School, and Dormaa Senior High School.

The extension services delivery is expected to enhance the capacity of farmers to increase production. She said the Ministry is expected to provide extension services to 2,191 aquaculture establishments this year, as well as provide training to 1, 522 fish farmers in modern aquaculture production techniques to expand their businesses and create more jobs.

Meanwhile, an aquaculture Centre and hatcheries are being built under the Aquaculture Infrastructure Projects to enhance the level of expertise and skills of the youth in aquaculture and the provision of quality fingerlings. These projects include;
• Aquaculture Centre and Commercial Farm Project at Amrahia,
• Rehabilitation of four (4) major public hatcheries at Kona in the Ashanti Region, Ashaiman in Greater Accra, Vea in Upper East, and Akosombo in the Eastern Region.

Additionally, there are efforts to deal with threats pose by fish diseases to the aquaculture sector as witnessed in 2019 when farmers lost about 18,000mt of fish to disease.

“Government through MoFAD has vaccinated aquaculture establishments along the Volta Lake enclave with the Aquavac IridoVaccines”. The Ministry has also started phase II of the programme to ensure the entire Volta Lake is covered to prevent the virus from developing immunity to the vaccine. This will involve 3,190,000 doses (638 bottles of the Aquavac Irido Vaccine.