Adwenepapa Co-operative Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) in the Amenfi West municipality of the Western North Region has called for extension services to help farmers adopt proper aquaculture practices for increased yields and sustained business.
The association is also demanding appropriate use and application of modern technology to improve upon its fishing operations to support rapid business growth and expansion.
Nana Blay Dankwa, the Chairman of the association, told the Ghana News Agency that insufficient fish feed and seeds, limited financial resources and credit facilities for start-up badly affected members’ operations and production levels.
Other bottlenecks included weak human resource, aquaculture extension services, technology transfer and weak marketing systems and markets.
He said a research had been carried out on “aquaculture extension services and technology transfer needed to improve members operations in several communities”.
They included Wasa Akropong, Enchi, Samreboi, Manso-Amenfi, Sureso, Asuohyiam, Moseaso, Kwabeng, Achichire and Nkrankrom in the Amenfi West municipality.
Nana Dankwa said the results indicated high attrition rate and low interest in aquaculture business, stunted growth of the sector, very low knowledge base of operatives and poor farming practices among others.
The fishing sector is noted to hold a huge potential to absorb the teeming jobless youth in Ghana and, as part of the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme, it required a boost from government.
“We need aquaculture extension services to help us in our operations in areas such as water quality assessment and management, seed/fingerlings production, feed preparation and production, use of inputs and identification and control of diseases among others,” Nana Dankwa said.
He urged the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to pay attention to their needs and share information with farmers to help them appreciate new technologies in the field.
He recommended that the ministry resourced researchers and other institutions to improve on extension services and technology know-how to enable fish farmers deal with critical areas like water quality management, seed and fingerlings production, and fish feed composition, formulation and preparation.
The ministry must also lead a nationwide education on good fish farming practices, exchanging information and technology with relevant institutions for aquaculture development.
Nana Dankwa said the government should ensure accessibility and the adoption of improved production and post-production technologies based on farmer resource endowment for increased productivity and farm incomes.
“We are expecting that a secured agreement with the Fisheries Commission for aquaculture extension services should be provided for our members for improved business operations, increased profits and sustainable business, wealth creation and eventual poverty reduction as well as improve government revenue,” he said