Fish Feed Firm Appeals For Quality Soya Beans

Floor PixRaanan Fish Feed West Africa Limited, a leading fish feed producing company in Ghana says its greatest challenge is how to obtain the highest quality soya bean locally for its production.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Raanan Berzak, said though Ghana’s soil and climatic conditions were excellent for the cultivation of that grade of soya bean, the company imports its raw material from Brazil because the locally produced beans do not meet the required standard.

He was briefing the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms. Sherry Ann Ayittey and her deputy, Ms. Benedicta Okiti Duah, during a visit to the factory. Accompanying them was the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Sharon Bar-Li.

The purpose of their visit was to interact with the management of the company to know their challenges and support them to overcome them.

According to Mr. Berzak, the company currently produces 30,000 metric tons of tilapia and catfish feed annually, 20 per cent of which was exported to other West African countries like Mali and Niger.

He said the company, which has a staff strength of 151, most of them Ghanaians, required 7,000 metric tons of soya beans annually for its production, adding that obtaining the raw material locally would help reduce production cost substantially.

Ms. Ayittey said in line with government’s vision to expand aquaculture, create 50,000 jobs within the next five years and generate more foreign exchange through fish export, her ministry was planning to support fish feed producers and fish farmers to resolve their challenges and improve performance.

“We are therefore going to collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Crop Research Institute to develop the right strain of soya for farmers to cultivate here for the production of fish feed,” she said.

Additionally, she said the government was supporting the Anomabo Fisheries College and collaborating with other universities to establish faculties for fish farming to train more people to go into fish farming.

Ms. Ayittey said Ghana consumed 950,000 metric tons of fish annually while only 450,000 metric tons was produced locally.

“Records from the Inland Fisheries Unit of the Fisheries Commission indicates that last year 32,512 metric tons of fish was produced from the aquaculture sector out of which tilapia formed 90 per cent and the remaining being catfish,” she said.

Ms. Ayittey therefore hoped that increased aquaculture production would greatly reduce the import of fish and ease the pressure on the cedi.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah,  Prampram

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