Lack of funds affecting fish cage farming

fish-farm pixFish cage farming in the Upper Manya Krobo District, is being threatened by lack of funds and frustrating permit procedures in its establishment.

The Upper Manya Krobo Disrict, which has some communities along the Volta Lake like Akateng, Bukunor and Akotoie, has a wide range of people involved in fish farming.

The introduction of fish cage farming in the country by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) was a step to support the sustainable management of the fisheries resources, and help increase production of farmers.

Despite the existence of water resources for the development of the fish cage farming, the expectations of the MOFAD is not being realised in the Upper Manya Krobo District for many reasons.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) Media Auditing and Tracking of Development Projects team gathered that, fees charged by authorities in order to issue permits and the duration for documentation far outweighs the budget of the ordinary farmers.

As a result, since the introduction of fish cage farming into the country, only two farms have been established in the district till date.

The GNA team also gathered that, the huge capital needed to acquire the cages was far above the resources of the fisherfolks in the district.

For investment into a fish cage farming with cage size of five by five metres square of three metres deep, one needed about GH¢35,000.

Mrs Hannah Agyei-Boakye, Eastern Regional Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), confirmed the story of the fisherfolks and said, to start fish cage farming, one needs to apply for a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the process takes between six months to one year for approval.

Mrs Agyei-Boakye indicated that, the processing fees depended on the size of the cage, and said fish cage farming was capital intensive, and she appealed to the EPA to review the processes for the granting of permits to reduce the duration involved.

The GNA, STAR-Ghana Media Auditing and Tracking of Development Projects, is an initiative launched to promote transparency, social accountability and good governance.

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