By Newton Ogah:
Fish Farmers at Abume, a suburb of the Asuogyman District in the Eastern Region are worried over the massive influx of Chinese tilapia farmers in the country, particularly at Asutsuare which they say is taking a negative toll on their work.
According to them, some Chinese indigenes based at Asutuare in the Greater Accra region have taken over the tilapia farming business from them the local folks which is their main source of livelihood. Some of the farmers further stated that, the engagement of the Chinese in the tilapia business has not only resulted in they taking over their businesses, but has rather caused them more harm than good resulting in the collapse of new businesses.
Speaking to Rite news, Mr. Raphael Agbenafie and Godsway Agbenafie who are both tilapia farmers at Abume in the Asuogyman district, said the influx of Chinese investors into the district was a great impediment and hindrance to them. In spite of these phenomenon, the china based company produces tilapia on a large quantity, thereby reducing cost of production and selling them at lower costs which affect them the local fisherfolk and thereby greatly reducing their profit margin.
They lamented that, the high cost of fishing equipment, such as fishing net, fishing canoes and feed have also served as great worry since the lack of these materials do not enable us to produce on a large quantity for sale.
They further added that the influx of the Chinese company in the country has also reduced the market value of their fishes on the market. According to them the lower price offered by the Chinese has drawn their customers away from them, thereby making it very tedious for them to market their fishes, adding that the Asuogyaman district produces the largest amount of fish consumed in the country.
They added that they have contacted the appropriate authorities such as the district assembly and the fisheries commission but to no avail.