GHANA – Ghana and Norway have joined forces to enhance the development of on-farm fish feed using locally available ingredients, as part of Ghana’s ambitious Aquaculture Development Plan.

The plan aims to increase the country’s fish farming output from 89,376 tonnes to 211,697 tonnes by the end of 2028, representing a remarkable 136% growth.

Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, unveiled the vision during the 39th National Farmers’ Day Celebration in Tarkwa, Western Region.

The plan emphasized the availability of high-quality, affordable feed to all fish farmers, leveraging the abundant sources of fish feed ingredients within the country.

The collaboration with Norway is anticipated to play a crucial role in achieving this goal, offering innovative solutions to boost national aquaculture output.

Mrs. Koomson highlighted that the steps being taken would significantly reduce the cost of producing cultured fish, ultimately enhancing profit margins for fish farmers.

“While locally produced and imported feeds are available on the market, the expense often deters small pond farmers, leading them to use self-formulated feeds,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Minister’s directive on trawl gear specifications has already shown positive results, curbing the catching of juvenile and small pelagic fish by industrial trawlers.

In addition, addressing the decline in fish populations and the growing gap between demand and supply, the government has imposed a three-year moratorium on new canoe entrants, subject to annual review. The move aims to tackle fleet overcapacity and alleviate pressure on fisheries resources.

To address these challenges comprehensively, Ghana is also implementing innovative solutions, such as the construction of the National Aquaculture Centre and Commercial Farms.

These facilities will provide training in various aspects of aquaculture, including production, farm management, fish health, feed formulation, and processing.

Vice-President Alhaji Dr Bawumia, speaking on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the awards ceremony, outlined the government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

The event celebrated outstanding contributions to agriculture, with Charity Akortia named the 2023 National Best Farmer and receiving a one million Ghana Cedis cash prize.

Other awardees in various categories included National Best Fisher, National Best Fish Processor, National Best Aquaculture Farmer, National Best Inland Fisher, National Best Fisheries Extension Officer, and National Best Cocoa Farmer, among others.

The ceremony, held under the theme “Delivering Smart Solutions for Food Security and Resilience,” recognized the pivotal role of farmers and fishermen in the Ghanaian economy.

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