Adwenepapa Co-operative Fish Farmers Associations (ACFFA) in the Amenfi West Municipality has called for aquaculture extension services for the sustainability of their business.
Also, they are appealing for technology transfer to improve upon their operations for increased profit, business growth and expansion among others.
According to Adwenepapa Co-operative Fish Farmers Association, they are bedeviled with myriad of problems including but not limited to; insufficient availability of fish feed and seed, lack of financial resources and credits for start-up costs and working capital for bringing about profitability of aquaculture operations.
Again, weak human resource base reflected in the lack of appropriate skills or trained persons among fish farm owners and or managers as well as lack of effective aquaculture extension services and technology transfer and weak marketing systems and markets. Fund
A study conducted by the association with support from the Business Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and funded by DANIDA and USAID on “Aquaculture extension services and technology transfer needed to improve members operations” in communities such as Wasa Akropong, Enchi, Samreboi, Manso-Amenfi, Sureso, Asuohyiam, Moseaso, Kwabeng, Achichire and Nkrankrom all in the Amenfi West Municipality indicates that there is high attrition rate of aquaculture businesses, lack of interest in the aquaculture business, stunted growth of the sub-sector, very low knowledge base of operatives in the sub-sector, poor farming practices among others.
Aside employing themselves, they hire both permanent and casual labor, making fish farming a job reservoir, which if supported to become profitable, has the potential to absorb the teeming jobless youth in Ghana as part of the rearing for food and jobs flagship program of government.
“We need aquaculture extension services to help us in our operations in areas such as water quality assessment and management, seed/fingerlings production, feed preparation and production, use of inputs, identification and control of diseases among others” Nana Blay Dankwa, Chairman of the Association told B&FT in an interview.
Also, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development must be proactive in sharing such information with farmers to enable them to know new technologies being used in the sector.
The study therefore recommends that the ministry, must industriously resource research and other responsible institutions to tackle the issue of lack of extension services and technology know-how, to enable fish farmers deal with the the most critical areas of fish farming operations with respect to water quality management, seed and fingerlings production, fish feed composition, formulation and preparation.
Also, duty bearrers must not only diserminate fish farm management practices through the distribution of rudimentary tracts on identification, prevention and control of diseases, harvesting and post harvest activities (proccessing, packaging,branding transportation among others) but must also lead a nationwide education on good fish farming practices, exchanging information and technology with relevant institutions in the country for aquaculture development.
Again, the ministry must ensure accessibility to and encouragement of the adoption of improved production and post-production technologies, based on farmer resource endowment for increased productivity and farm incomes; Liaise with national directorates and relevant research institutions for information and assistance for the promotion of aquaculture development in Ghana.
“We expect the action to result in a secured agreement with the Fisheries Commission for aquaculture extension services to be provided to our members for improved business operations, increased profits and sustainable business for our members for jobs and wealth creation and eventual poverty reduction as well as improve government revenue.