UDS/China offers training on aquaculture to boost tilapia production

A basket of freshly harvested Tilapia nilotica. - - Development of Rural Fish Farming: PRC/88/007/C/01/12. Food self-sufficiency in the year 2000 was the top priority of the Government of Congo. Fish farming is an integral part of the national programme to stabilize the rural population through higher income and better diets. The activity can encourage young people to settle in rural areas by providing productive and profitable work. A national project, financed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), was initiated to support the development of the fisheries sub-sector. It involved the training of extension agents, the periodic retaining of project extension agents, increasing the average annual yields in the rural sector and the major fish farming stations as well as improving the self-financing aspect of the stations.

Shanghai Ocean University in China has held its maiden Sino-Ghana tilapia training programme at the University of Development Studies (UDS), Nyankpala campus to provide education on the best approach to adapt and the modern technology to use in the production of tilapia.

The training is aimed at educating fish farmers and students on fingerlings and tilapia production to compliment government Rearing for Food and Jobs Programme.

It is also to encourage, especially, students to venture into fingerlings and tilapia productions that have high market demand in the country to create job opportunities as well curb the importation of such products to Ghana.

The event brought together research scientists, officials from the fisheries commission, 30 fish farmers, 10 experts from the Fisheries Ministry, five from water research institutes, and staff and students from UDS. Currently, the university has five ponds comprising 2,000 fingerlings, each for the commencement of tilapia production.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof Albert Quainoo, Dean of Agriculture who represented the Vice Chancellor Prof Gabriel Ayum Teye, urged the students to start identifying gaps in the study areas and take advantage of them.

“As students, today you will be in school, but tomorrow you will be out of school and that will be the beginning of the journey into the world of life. You definitely have created a useful niche that will create job opportunities for you” he said.

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Prof. Jinliang Zhao from Department of Fisheries and Life Science of Shanghai Ocean University said the partnership will develop the capacities of students of both universities to meet industries’ needs.

“Last year, the Executive President of UDS led a delegation to the university and, through that, both universities built a collaborative relationship to train more students on fingerlings and tilapia production.

To further deepen that relationship, our delegation also visited Ghana in April this year where the proposed exchange programme aims at providing platform for tilapia culture technology for sustainable tilapia development” he added.

He noted that though china is the biggest tilapia producing country in the world, Ghana is also one of the biggest tilapia producing countries in Africa

Also speaking at the event, Prof Elliot Alhassan, Faculty of Natural Resource and Environment of UDS said the idea is also to produce enough fingerlings for farmers to boost tilapia production especially, in the regions of the north.

One of the beneficiaries of the training, Dr Christian Ayisi Larbi, called for more support for the sector as it continuous to face challenges such as the outbreak of diseases, among others.

Fish is the country’s most important non-traditional export commodity and the fisheries sub-sector accounts for about 5 percent of the agricultural GDP. Export earnings from fish and fishery products on average account for approximately US$60 million.

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