The importance of fish can never be underestimated in human health and the development of the economy of every nation.
In Ghana research has shown that about 75% of the total domestic production of fish is consumed locally. With 2.5 million fishermen, processors and traders participating in the sector according the Ministry of fisheries and aquaculture.
A sector which accounts for about 5 percent of the agriculture GDP and with approximate annual contribution of 60 million US dollars to the nation’s coffers. Obviously it is a sector that needs a revamp and empowerment to fish famers in other to sustain its contribution and even increase it.
In the quest to revamp the fishery sector, the Pan African Organization for Sustainable Development (POSDEV) a nongovernmental organization with the funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has started a three month project which is aimed at promoting agriculture development with much emphasis on the fishery sector through the sensitization and empowerment of Fishery Based Organizations.
The project which started on the 5th May 2015 is expected to educate and sensitize fish farmers through various FBO’s on the policies and Laws that support fish farming in Ghana and how farmers can take advantage of such policies.
Addressing the press last Thursday about the progress of the programme so far, Mr. Petrus Adams the programs Manager said, although the programme is still on course, most fishermen in the three selected district, Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya Krobo and the Akuapim North municipal have really benefited and empowered by the project.
He noted, a total of 20 fishery Based Organizations in the selected districts have been contacted with 7 local Based groups from the Yilo Krobo district, 4 from lower Manya district and 9 from Akuapim Nortjh Municipal.
In all 333 FBO members, fish farms, fish processors and traders have been mobilized and had their capacity strengthened, mentored and supported. He added
The principal technical director of POSDEV, Mr. Abrokwah added, the project which will end on the 5th of august 2015, will also educate fish farmers to venture into other sectors of the aquaculture industry like fish pond farming since a time to come the nation cant no longer depend on the fast depleting fish in the sea especially not when fishermen are still indulging in bad fishing practices like, light fishing and the use of poisonous chemicals.
Mr. Festus Kwadzokpo is a capacity Building Specialist at the USAID Agriculture Policy Support Project,he noted the project is an initiative under the Ghana Feed the Future Project. The About $ 900 million US Dollar project is expected to reduce hunger and poverty through sensitization programmes targeting the stakeholders on the agriculture value chain.