A US$185m facility has been approved by Parliament that is expected to minimise post-harvest losses and enhance value addition to the fish caught by artisanal fishermen.
This was contained in a finance committee report on the third subsidiary agreement between government and China Development Bank (CDB) for an amount of US$185m in relation to the coastal fishing landing sites project under the Tranche B facility.
The move will also ensure safe launching and landing of particularly artisanal fishing canoes, and create and maintain a hygienic environment for the processing and handling of fish.
The project involves construction of 10 fishing landing sites and handling facilities to boost the Fisheries sector.
The Fisheries sector plays a major role in the economy of Ghana, contributing to about three percent (3%) to the gross domestic product. It further provides employment opportunities for maritime fishermen, boat-yard workers, and suppliers of auxiliary goods and services.
The sector also contributes to foreign exchange earnings of the country, as an estimated twelve percent (12%) of total national fish product is exported, the report noted.
The project will therefore help to strengthen the sector and boost its contribution to the economy.
The landing sites and related facilities will be constructed at the following places: Teshie in the Greater Accra Region; Axim and Dixcove in the Western Region; Elmina, Winneba, Mumford, Senya-Beraku, Fetteh-Gomoa and Moree in the Central Region; and Keta in the Volta Region.
The proposed landing sites are made up of several physical facilities that are to be developed under this project. The facilities relate to the peculiar physical characteristics and potential fish production capacity of each landing site.
Some of these facilities will include breakwaters for a sheltered berthing and anchorage bay; quay walls for the berthing, loading/unloading of canoes and trawlers; and navigational aids for the safe arrival and departure of canoes and trawlers.
Others are fish-handling sheds for the transfer and sale of fresh fish under all weather conditions; ice blocks/crush making plant for the manufacture and sale of ice blocks or crushed blocks to fishermen; and net-mending and drying yards for fishermen to spread and mend or dry their nets.
There is also a pre-mixed fuel supply yard for the installation of pre-mixed fuel tanks for the sale of premixed fuel to fishermen; a canoe/trawler repair-yard for the maintenance and repair of damaged canoes or trawlers; and a maintenance/repair of outboard motors and marine engines yard.
The Committee report also noted that the coastal fishing landing sites project was originally placed under the Tranche A facility with interest margin of 2.95% and tenor of 15 years.
However, government has negotiated with CDB to move it to the Tranche B facility with an interest margin of 2.85% and a tenor of nine years. This will ensure that the Offtaker Agreement is not extended beyond its current term.