A geographic Information System involving an indicative mapping of high potential aqua cultural areas is to be established in the country to improve fish farming. As part of the effort, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) under its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) is supporting the Fisheries Commission with a grant amounting to $85,130 to implement an aqua-culture strategic framework. Mr. Godfred Baidoo of the FAO office in Ghana briefing the Times about the project explained that the mapping of the high potential aquaculture will afford fish farmers the knowledge about suitable areas to venture into fish production so as to improve yields. The framework known as the National Aquaculture Development Plan is in line with the National Medium Term Development Plan is in line with the National Medium Term Development Framework and the Fisheries Act 625, 2002 and seeks also to build capacities in aquaculture planning skills to increase fish reduction in the country. The TCP proposal will also provide technical support in the development of demonstration sites at the selected sites, according to the project document. He cited the example of some fish farmers around the Atimpoku and Akosombo areas who lost their fishes recently as a result of the unsuitability of the area for fish farming. Since 2000, the agriculture sector contribution to the gross Domestic Product has averaged 35 percent, with the fisheries sub-sector contributing between 3-5 per cent. Fish is an important food product in the country, accounts for about 6o per cent of the animal protein predominantly consumed in both the urban and rural areas. Fish production, mainly from captured fisheries has stabilised around 42,000 metric tonnes, with a short fall of 460,000 metric tonnes. The deficit is recovered through fish imports which cost over 2000 million dollars annually. The fisheries sub-sector is prioritised under the national medium term policy framework (2010 -2013) and it is hoped that aquaculture will contribute significantly to bridging the gap between fish demand and supply in the short and medium term. The relative low public and private sector investment as manifested reduced budgetary allocation and poor planning and location of aquaculture schemes. Aquaculture promotion in Ghana dates back to the 1950s, however it has remained relatively low due to lack of a conducive environment for the growth of the sector.
Source: The Ghanaian Times