Ghana will produce an additional 91,000 metric tonnes of fish for four years under the Healthy Food Africa Project, Madam Levina Owusu, Chief Director, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has said.
Ghana’s annual fish production stands at 465,000 metric tonnes but her annual demand is over million metric tonnes.
The Project which is focusing on the production of Tilapia and Catfish, is also expected to create over 86,177 jobs comprising 26,832 direct and 59,345 indirect jobs in the fishery sector.
Mrs Owusu said this last week Wednesday in Accra at the launch of the Food System Lab of Accra of the Healthy Food Africa Project, funded by the European Union and coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute in Finland.
The project, starting from June 2020 to December 2024 is on the theme “ Improving Nutrition in Africa by Strengthening the Diversity, Sustainability, Resilience and Connectivity of Food Systems”.
The Project is being undertaken by a consortium of 17 partners, made up of academic, research, government and private sector organisations in 13 countries in East, West, and Southern African.
In Ghana, the project is being implemented by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Water Research Institute and CSIR-Food Research Institute.
The Project aims to undertake open science with policy makers and community people working with scientists to build capacity, develop and manage sustainable food systems to promote transformation.
Mrs Owusu said the project was timely because it would help address challenges and harness opportunities in present food systems towards sustainable, resilient and enhanced connectivity in Ghana and other African countries.
She said Ghana fish demand annually was over million metric tonnes and that aquaculture will help bridge the production gap.
The sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product in 2016, according to the Ghana Statistical Service was 1.1 per cent and employed over 30,000 people in both rural and urban areas.
Mrs Owusu informed that through innovating aquaculture production technology, improving growth rates and survival of locally cultured fish and enhancing protein utilization for efficient feed management, would contribute to sustainable and resilient aquaculture.
She said there was the need to promote production of value added products throughout the value chain from harvesting to marketing to exploit the economic potential of fisheries.
Mrs Cynthia Asare Bediako, Chief Director, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the Ministry would support in the successful implementation of the Project for better outcomes.
She said the Ministry had its policy framework on environment, biodiversity,food safety and climate change which would support and regulate processes involved in achieving the objectives of the Project.
Dr Seth Koranteng Agyakwah, Coordinator of the Project, said current food and farming systems in Africa were not too sustainable and had caused severe environmental degradation and food loss called for reformation.