The Ghana Chamber of Aquaculture has called on the Fisheries Ministry and Aquaculture Development to expedite the process in exempting fish feed manufacturers from paying import tax.
According to the CEO of the Chamber, Jacob Adzikah, fish feed manufacturers currently, are paying over 25 percent of import tax on some of the fish feed raw materials imported into the country.
This, he says affects fish production as products by fish feed manufacturers are affected by the tax.
“The major challenge is the cost of production and this is related to high cost of fish feed. At the moment, production for a kilo of fish cost around ¢6.9 which is averagely 60 to 70 per cent of the production cost.
This is attributed to the cost of producing fish feed. Fish feed manufacturers at the moment are paying over 25 per cent of import tax on some of the fish feed raw materials that are imported into the country.”
However, he is optimistic that their recent engagement with the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development on tax exemption will be confirmed.
“Recently, we engaged the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development on this and at our last meeting, the Minister of the sector assured that the government is working on that to give tax exemptions to fish feed manufacturers.
“As of now we’re waiting to enjoy this benefit and we’re waiting to receive an official confirmation of this. If this is done, it will go a long way to support fish production in the country,” he said.
He indicated that if the sector is exempted from taxation, the industry will be able to boost production from 60,000 metric tonnes to 180,000 metric tonnes per annum.
Meanwhile, he lauded the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture for engaging in vaccination of fishes to reduce fish mortality which has been prevalent for the past two years.
“Diseases, etc is part of aquaculture production and we noticed that, this is gradually becoming a big deal. In the past two years, the industry suffered from severe fish kill or mortality.
“However, we’re aware that the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission has started a vaccination programme. That is very good and we’ll also encourage them to do that.”
Mr Adzikah further urged for more investment in modern laboratories to contribute to the fight against fish mortality.
“At the moment we have metered laboratories in the country to diagnose fish diseases. And we believe that there is some good investment into modern laboratories, it will go a long way to help the farmers and to stop this challenge that is related to fish health,” he said.