A few days ago, the official groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Ghana National Aquaculture Center, which will be located in Amrahia, in the Greater Accra Region, and will receive an investment of 9.8 million euros. The ceremony was attended by Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), Mavis Hawa Koomson.
As reported, the construction of the center is expected to take approximately 24 months. The project also includes the commissioning of a fish farm. The implementation of the project is valued at EUR 9.8 million and, under the planned program, more than 300 entrepreneurs are expected to be trained and equipped in the aquaculture sector in five years.
The principal aim of the project is to train and equip youth who are interested in aquaculture production, especially university graduates to produce 50,000 metric tons of fish in the next five years. Hawa Koomson reported that the selection criteria for the trainees will be made public and special attention will be given to qualified youth in the fisheries sector.
Establishment of a commercial farm
The project includes the establishment of an aquaculture production training centre and commercial farm with facilities such as aquaculture indoor structures, classrooms, students and staff accommodation, mechanic workshop, packing warehouses and cold storage, a storage facility for chemicals and inputs, water reservoir, power station offices and car a park.
When completed, the project will help to train and equip interested youth, especially university graduates, in entrepreneurial aquaculture production. Is expected to provide training and start-up to 300 aquaculture entrepreneurs as well as produce 50,000 mt of fish within five years.
The modern aquaculture system that would be operated is made up of Recirculating Aquaculture System, biofloc systems and greenhouse aquaculture systems. “The technology is similar to the greenhouse technology being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the cultivation of vegetables,” she asserted.
“The project is part of the efforts of the government to accelerate the development of aquaculture towards job and wealth creation as well as bridge the gap between domestic fish demand and supply.“
In that regard, Hawa Koomson said the government is keen on harnessing the enormous potential Ghana has for aquaculture to ensure food and nutrition security as well as jobs and financial security for our youth.
The Minister said she believes aquaculture development is critical for the country’s development, especially considering the fact that in the past decades fish catches from the fishing sector have decreased.
“The profit margins for the marine fisheries subsector are declining, with some, especially, the artisanal fishers making losses. This facility is expected to as an alternative measure that holds the prospect for quantum increase in fish production,” she said
The Contractor in charge of the construction of the National Aquaculture Center is M/S Agritop, an Israeli company based in Ghana and supervised by M/S ABA and Partners.
7th meeting of the OACPS will be in the African country
On the other hand, the Ministry Mavis Hawa Koomson reported that she is receiving updates from the heads of committees responsible for the organization of the 7th meeting of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) scheduled to be held in Ghana between 5th to 8th April 2022.
The meeting of OACPS Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture was instituted to facilitate the effective implementation of the Fisheries mechanism which was established in 2009 to reinforce the key role that fisheries and aquaculture play in the socio-economic development of Member States as well as address the challenges confronting the sector in this country.
“The meeting will provide a platform for key stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues relating to the sector including climate change, ocean pollution and IUU fishing,” she explained.