Ghana’s fishery sector is to receive an injection of 50 million dollars from the World Bank and 3.5 million dollars grant from the Global Environmental Fund.
The funds would go into research and training with eight million dollars going into aquaculture.
Implementation would begin by mid October, Mike Acheampong, Chairman of the Fisheries Commission said.
Mr. Acheampong was speaking at the commencement of a fish farming training scheme for 1,000 youth from the Volta and Eastern regions at the Global Agricultural Foundation’s (GARFUND) multifaceted Tilapia farm at Kpeve-Tornu in the Volta Region.
The new farm will have a hatchery for the production of fingerlings and feed production unit for the farm and for sale.
Some of the beneficiaries of the training programme would be employed by GARFUND on its farm while others would be assisted with input loans under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to begin their own Tilapia farms.
Mr. Acheampong said Ghana currently has a huge domestic market of 800,000 metric tonnes of fish per year with each citizen consuming between 23-25 kilos per year as against 15-18 kilos per person per year in the rest of the world.
He said the country currently produced less than half of its fish requirements, stressing that fish farming had the potential to meet the deficit.
Mr. Acheampong therefore commended the management of GARFUND for their bold decision to invest in fish farming and other related ventures.
He however advised the management to seek expert advice on all aspects of the venture and ensure that its fingerlings were from excellent parent stock.
Kofi Humado, Minister of Youth and Sports, said the Volta Lake provided a vast resource that could transform the economic fortunes of the Volta region if properly harnessed.
He said Tilapia farm was one of such areas which should be exploited to solve unemployment among the youth of the region.
Mr. Humado said GARFUND’s initiative to provide training to the youth in fish farming on the lake should therefore be supported by district assemblies along the lake from South-Dayi to Kete-Krachi.
He urged the trainees to make the best use of the opportunity because the sector offered great potentials to improve their economic and financial statuses. Setor Avortse, Technical Officer of GARFUND, said caged Tilapias could mature for harvesting in four months with proper feeding which gave the farmer four harvests in a year thereby making the venture very profitable.