Nii Amasah Namoale, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has stated that Government was committed to developing the fishing industry in the country.
He noted that the Government spent huge sums of money on the importation of fish.
Nii Namoale, who is also a Member of Parliament for the Dadekotopon Constituency, said these when he paid a working visit to the Upper East Region to assess the fishing potential in the area and how to exploit it.
He said that the country had the potential to produce enough fish for domestic consumption if the fishing industry were given the necessary attention adding that the Ministry would encourage more people to invest in fish farming to generate employment for the youth.
Nii Namoale noted that the fishing industry was lucrative and announced that the Ministry would renovate fish ponds in the country and create new ones to encourage the youth to take up fish farming.
Some of the fish farms the Deputy Minister visited in the Region included the Vea Irrigation Fish Farm, Tono Irrigation Fish Farm and the Pwalugu Integrated Duckï¿½Fish Culture farm.
Nii Namoale also visited a Fish Processor in Bolgatanga and held meetings with the Regional Fisheries Resource Management Committee at Gambibgo and addressed fishermen and fish mongers associations.
Naba Thomas Azubire, Chief of Vea, near Bolgatanga, and Leaders of the Fishermen and Fish Mongers Associations mentioned the lack of fishing materials such as fishing nets; boats; cold storage facilities; life-saving jackets and access to feed for the fish as problems facing the industry.
They also complained that feed for fish farming was expensive and scarce in the Region and that they had to travel to Kumasi and other places to purchase the feed.
The Regional Director of MOFA, Mr Ebenezer Wellington briefed the Deputy Minister on the state of fishing in the Region.
Mr Wellington said the Regional Directorate of MOFA was working on a pilot integrated Duckï¿½Fish Culture Project at Pwalugu along the White Volta where farmers do fishing alongside duck rearing, which would be replicated in some parts of the Region, especially in communities along the White Volta and Red Volta Rivers.
He indicated that a lot of fish mongers had also been trained in a new technology of smoking fish to enable them to undertake large scale fish smoking.
Mr Wellington said that the Regional Directorate of MOFA facilitated the acquisition of credit facilities for members of the Fish Mongers and Fishermen associations.
Earlier, the Deputy Sector Minister interacted with the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo and said MOFA would create more business friendly environment to encourage people to invest in fish production.
The Regional Minister indicated that the people in the Region were predominantly farmers and would be very happy to integrate fish farming into their farming activities.
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