The Ministry of Fisheires and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has developed a policy on aquaculture for fish and food for jobs which will be presented to cabinet by April, this year.
Once the policy receives cabinet approval, MoFAD will roll it out and begin implementation by the end of May 2018.
Deputy Minister, Francis Ato Cudjoe, announced this at a media outreach to highlight the work of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s partnership with the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the Fisheries Commission (FC).
Mr Cudjoe explained that under the policy, the Ministry was going to work with institutions like the military, police, banks and schools, and encourage them to go into fish farming as well as encourage people to go into tank farming for individual or commercial purposes.
He said young persons would be engaged and trained in fish farming under the ‘Youth in Agriculture’ program and feeds and fishing inputs for the production of fish would be subsidized to enable a lot more people to enter into aquaculture.
Ahead of that, he said, the Ministry had embarked on zonation of the Volta Lake to determine which areas were good to support fish farming. Mr Cudjoe entreated institutions that had the capital to invest on a large scale in this venture to create a positive impact in the country.
Over 30 media practitioners attended the outreach and were taken through presentations on topics such as fisheries co-management, post-harvest management, monitoring and surveillance, and closed seasons to achieve sustainability for Ghana’s marine resources.
In a presentation, Mr Kofi Agbogah, SFMP, explained co-management as a strategy for managing fisheries where authority for decision making was shared between government and resource users to help address some key issues that have emerged in the fisheries sector.
Mr Agbogah added that there was the need to build capacities and empower the persons at the local level to enable them to efficiently implement management plans.
He called for an amendment of sections of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) to make it more robust to address some challenges in the sector such as enforcing the registration of artisanal canoes.
The Chief of Party (CoP), SFMP, Mr Maurice Knight, in a welcome address, said it had become relevant to engage the media directly because the media occupied a very important place in society and ought to learn about some of the important issues happening in the country.
Mr Knight, therefore, challenged the media to represent the issues well and promote the fisheries industry.