Chiefs urged to woo investors into fishing industry

Ms. Sherry Ayittey

Ms. Sherry Ayittey

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, has called on chiefs to compliment government efforts to entice investors into the country.

Ms. Ayittey made the call here on Tuesday, when she paid a working visit to a fish farm being constructed by China Fujian Fishing Ghana Limited.

The venture which is expected to produce an estimated 20,000 metric tonnes of tilapia within five years, has a fish meal plant, with capacity to produce 40,000 metric tonnes annually.

An adjoining farm to grow maize and soya to be used for the fish meal, was being planned as well as a fish processing factory which would employ 200 people directly and make provision for an outgrower scheme for farmers in the area.

The project has facility to grow its own fingerlings which are transferred after a while into 500 cages built on that section of the Volta Lake and additional cages would be built to handle the increase in production.

Ms. Ayittey said after 14 years of implementation, the Ministry was reviewing the Fisheries Act to bring in best practices that would ensure sustainable fishing.

She said the visit would afford her the opportunity to see the technology being employed and how best to replicate it in other parts of the country.

She said aquaculture had potential to reduce the 450,000 metric tonnes of fish imported annually to feed the nation, adding that it could save the country about 30 per cent foreign exchange.

The Chief Executive of the company, Mr. Ziheng conducting Ms. Ayittey and her entourage round the project said the fish meal plant would have two production lines and the surplus fish meal would be sold to other farmers.

He said as precautionary measure only good swimmers were employed to work on the lake and they did so in groups to forestall any eventuality.

Mr. Ziheng appealed to government to expedite action on the processes for clearing their equipment from the port which attracted zero taxes.

The chief of Asutsuare, Nene Ablor V, promised to make 3,500 acres available to the company for growing maize and soya under the project.

He was happy that the project would employ youth from the community and reduce the pressure on them to seek greener pasture from the cities.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah,Asutsuare.

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