Ban On Tilapia Import: Association Calls For Strict Enforcement

Tilapia-FreshThe government has been urged to put in place adequate measures to enforce the ban on Tilapia import into the country.

While commending the government for taking the bold initiative, the Ghana Aquaculture Association is of the view that the ban will be a decision in futility if not well monitored and enforced.

Speaking in an interview with Times Business in Accra, Mr. Meson Torkornoo, Treasurer of the Association, said the request for the ban on the import had become very important because of the smuggling of Tilapia through the borders of Togo.

Madam Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who announced the ban last week, said the ban would create about 50,000 jobs in the aquaculture sector of the economy, where young unemployed persons are being targeted.

She said, the ban would help provide the needed market for the youth, adding that  portions of the Volta Lake would be demarcated for all-year round aquaculture.

Mr. Torkornoo said a couple of meetings were held with the former Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture last year for the ban on the import but no concrete action was taken.

“We petitioned the former minister because the import of Tilapia reached its peak in the last quarter of last year, resulting in Tilapia glut in the market. We are happy that the present minister has taken a decisive action to halt the import,” he said.

He said: “Most of the smuggled Tilapia from Togo originates from China. This situation made it difficult for us to even break even,” he said.

Mr. Torkornoo admitted that although, the local producers could not currently produce to meet the local market demand, he was hopeful that with the right interventions in the form of support for the sector from the government, they could meet the local demand.

He said currently, the local Tilapia production stands at 480,000 metric tonnes, while demand stands 956,000 metric tonnes annually.

He said it was important that the ban was put in place to save the local industry and also save the country from spending a huge foreign exchange on Tilapia import.

By David Adadevoh

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