The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has revealed that government is planning to supply fishing nets to fishermen at a reduced price.
According to her, the move forms part of measures to support the fisheries sector.
She said the fisheries sector provided economic livelihood to a large number of the population, particularly those in the coastal and inland enclaves which was estimated to be about 10percent of the total population as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goal 8.
Mrs. Afoley Quaye disclosed this when she made a presentation on “Protecting Fisheries and Aquaculture for sustainable food supply and job creation” at the 6th National Policy Summit in Cape Coast.
The presentation by the Minister who doubles as Member of Parliament for Krowor Constituency, focused on Government’s Vision for the fishing sector, promoting Aquaculture Development, Enhancing Sustainable Marine Fisheries Management and Fisheries Infrastructure Development.
The Minister stressed on government’s vision as enshrined in the Medium Term National Development Policy Framework (2018 – 2021) to transform and grow the fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors to increase their productive share in GDP over time.
“With the challenges being faced in the marine sub-sector, Government focus is to stimulate aquaculture production that will assist a drastic reduction in domestic fish imports for Ghana, and thereby increase foreign savings,” she stated.
According to her, “this is a clear policy shift which emphasis increased aquaculture production as one of the key flagship of President Akufo-Addo.”
Mrs. Afoley Quaye said government was determined to increase its support to the aquaculture industry with the objective of increasing domestic fish production to gradually offset the importation of fish and fishery products, and create additional job opportunities along the aquaculture value chain for the teaming unemployed youth particularly in rural communities.
“In this regard, the Government, through MoFAD is implementing the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) flagship programme to complement the ongoing National Planting for Food and Jobs Initiative,” she stated.
The Minister added that “under the AFJ programme, an estimated 10,200 unemployed youth will be mobilized into Aquaculture Enterprise Groups and supported with the necessary inputs such as fish feed, fingerlings, tanks and cages to engage in commercial fish farming.”
She said “economically viable and distressed aquaculture establishments, second cycle institutions and other public institutions will also be supported to set up new aquaculture production outlets.”
She noted that “the programme is being implemented in collaboration with the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) and is estimated to create additional 7,000 direct and indirect jobs and provide 33,628mt additional fish annually for three years (2019-2021).”