The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) says it will from next year start a fish festival “Fish fest” to increase Ghanaians’ interest in eating inland fish, especially, catfish and also promote aquaculture development.
The Deputy Minister of MoFAD, responsible for the Aquaculture sector, Francis Ato Cudjoe explained to the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Tuesday that, the fish fest would be organised for people to taste variety of meals prepared with catfish.
According to Mr Cudjoe, this would be part of efforts to whet their appetite for the consumption of inland fish.
“The fish fest is for people to come and cook different meals with cat fish. We want people to develop the taste for catfish particularly, because, we have a lot of them,” he said.
“People only know how to eat dried fish. We want to introduce different taste to our people so they help develop that and also reduce the dependency on marine fish,” he added.
The Deputy Minister’s disclosure was done at a workshop organised to educate journalists on the aquaculture sector and initiatives introduced by the ministry to develop the sector to curbing the fish deficit in marine sector.
“The key objective is to be able to increase fish production so that we can supplement the decline we are facing in the marine sector,” he said.
“We have a duty to ensure food security for our people as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to do that we need to increase production, that is, farmed fish,” he added.
Mr Cudjoe noted that, the major concern of the Ministry in the aquaculture development and promotion was the Agriculture for Food and Jobs programme which would see the construction of ponds and filling them with water and fishes.
“We are providing fish free of charge for groups of individuals, taking the whole cost of production and training the young people to man it so they can be on their own,” he explained.
“We are working with the prisons, some secondary schools and churches and we expect that corporate bodies will also come in to help as their social corporate responsibilities and try to diversify their productivity to other areas,” he further stated.
The GH¢15 million four-pronged programme which is at its pilot stage is aimed at augmenting the decline of fish stock and fish production in the marine sector and reduce the over-dependency on marine sector for fish.
The four components of the programme are, Aquaculture for Food and Jobs programme, extension services delivery and capacity enhancement, aquaculture infrastructure development and fish disease containment and prevention programme.