Ghana is struggling to meet its annual demand for fish as marine resources have been depleted.

Out of the total 1.2 million metric tonnes of annual demand for fish, the annual fish production is below 600,000 metric tonnes.

The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Moses Anim revealed this at a forum organized for stakeholders by Agric Development Bank (ADB) Thursday, December 1, 2022 as part of activities to mark the celebration of the 38th Edition of National Farmers Day in Koforidua.

The Deputy Minister explained that more worrying is the fact that Ghana’s protein source is about 60% from fish whilst annual capital consumption is the highest in the west coast with 25kg.

The Deputy Minister, therefore, called on ADB to support the youth with loan facilities to take advantage of the lucrative nature of fish production to venture into fish farming to help increase fish production and reduce the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.

“Our annual demand for fish is some 1.2 million metric tonnes. As I speak to you our annual production is under 600,000 metric tonnes. Our protein source is about 60% from fish…As I speak to you we’ve over-depleted the marine resources and aquaculture remains the most viable alternative to augment what we have in stock level of the marine resources. There is the need to reduce the importation of some USD 240,000,000 importation of fish. We can only do that when we continuously increase the production of Fish through aquaculture and the other fisheries resources,” he said.

The General Manager, of Agribusiness, at Agric Development Bank (ADB) Kwame Asiedu Attrams stated that the bank’s financial portfolio in the Agriculture sector this year stands at 1.15 billion cedis as of November 2022.

Managing Director of ADB, Mr. Alhaji Yakubu Tali added that over the years ADB has immensely supported the government through the implementation of its flagship programs and therefore will continue to support the government and the agric sector going forward.

According to him, ADB is a key driver of the 1D1F initiative, adding that ADB’s investment in agriculture over the past six years has seen a steady growth of total agricultural real stock increasing from Ghc453 million as at December 2016 to Ghc 994 million as at September 2022.

He, therefore, welcomed government’s intention in the 2023 budget to establish Ghc500 million special credit program through the Bank to focus on rice, cereals, and other sectors of the economy to help mitigate food inflation bedeviling the country.

The National Program Coordinator of Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Program (GASIP), Mr. Klutse Kudomor highlighted the need for the country to increase access to market and help farmers through food processing to ensure value addition.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah