A GIS consisting of an analytical mapping of fish farming sites with high potential will be introduced in Ghana to boost its aquaculture industry. The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) under its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) is collaborating by lending its support for the Fisheries Commission with a grant worth USD 85,130, which will go toward applying a strategic framework.
According to Godfred Baidoo of the FAO office in Ghana, the mapping of high-potential aquaculture locations will give fish farmers the knowledge they need regarding convenient sites so they can undertake fish production and develop their output.
Called the National Aquaculture Development Plan, the new framework corresponds with the National Medium Term Development Plan, the National Medium Term Development Framework and the Fisheries Act 625, 2002. As well, it aims to construct capacities in aquaculture planning to increase Ghana’s fish yields. Moreover, the TCP proposal will offer technical growth support in the demonstration locations at the chosen sites.
Baidoo said that certain fish farmers near the Atimpoku and Akosombo areas recently lost their product because the region is incompatible with aquaculture. The country’s agriculture industry has contributed an average of 35 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) since 2000; in contrast, the fisheries sub-sector has put in 3-5 per cent.
Fish makes up some 60 per cent of the animal protein consumed in both the urban and rural areas of Ghana, making it an imperative food resource. The country’s fish production is predominantly based on fisheries and has become constant at around 42,000 tonnes, with a short drop of 460,000 tonnes. Fish imports, costing more than USD 2 billion per annum, recover the deficit. Ghana’s medium-term policy framework for 2010-13 has prioritised the fisheries industry and hopes that fish farming will help strongly to meet fish demand in the short- and medium-term.