The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MoFAD) has submitted a list of fish farming inputs to the Minister of Finance for inclusion in the Harmonized System and Customs Tariff Schedule (HSCTS).
The list comprised agriculture inputs expected to be exempted from taxation under the 2017 HSCTS.
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, disclosed these during question time in Parliament on Tuesday.
She indicated that one of the main hindrances to the development of the aquaculture industry is the high cost of inputs including fish feed.
The high cost, she said, also increases the cost of production and reduces profitability of the industry along the value chain.
She stressed that this development militates against investment drive in the aquaculture subsector.
She said, “Granting exemption for fish inputs imported will not only reduce the cost of inputs but make the inputs affordable to the operators.”
Exemptions granted in the HSCTS 2007 covered fishing inputs. However, after the revision of the schedule in 2017, all the exemptions related to the fisheries sector and aquaculture inputs including fish feed, cage construction and other fishing inputs such as ropes and twine were removed from the list of exemptions.
Mrs. Afoley Quaye stated that MoFAD has held consultations with key stakeholders in the industry as part of efforts to ensure the inclusion of aquaculture inputs in the list of exemptions.
According to her, the stakeholders have agreed on a list of inputs exclusive to the aquaculture industry that can be added to the list of items that should be exempted from taxes and duties.
She noted that the aquaculture industry has a high potential to increase domestic fish production, reduce fish imports and create additional jobs along the fish value chain.
She stressed that to harness this potential requires among other things, provision of adequate incentives to stimulate private sector participation, especially in the inputs supply to aquaculture operators.
The Minister revealed in response to another question that 32 dams and dugouts in 32 communities have benefited in the restocking intervention to provide additional 10,380mt of fish to enhance the nutrition intake of the targeted communities.
According to her a total of 10 million fingerlings were procured and distributed by three companies for the restocking project.