- Tilapia, catfish prices to go up 23%
- COCOBOD CEO also warns about dire consequence on cocoa production
The cedi’s rapid depreciation against major trading currencies and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war, among other factors, have increased the cost of feed and inputs in production for the aquaculture industry – a development that will soon push farmed-fish prices up, the Aquaculture Chamber has said.
According to CEO of the Aquaculture Chamber, Jacob Adzikah, global shortages of soya and maize have led to an increase in their prices by 40 percent and 60 percent respectively over the last few months.
Also, the Russian-Ukraine war is impacting the price of wheat, soya and maize, as it has led to 50 percent increment in prices of these critical raw materials required by feed producers.
These and other factors, said Mr. Adzikah in an interview with the B&FT, are likely to increase the price of tilapia and catfish by 19-23 percent in the coming weeks; a situation that will add to the already existing woes of the industry, as consumers may reduce patronage of these fish.
“Some of the challenges are the recent increase in import duties on fish-feed raw materials imported into the country by fish-feed producers; the huge depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi against the US dollar and other major currencies; and the cost of fuel and energy are also increasing drastically and having huge effects on the production of fish-feed.
“The abrupt increase in the cost of raw materials for fish-feed, the increase in fuel prices and depreciation of the cedi are driving the cost of fish-feed high in recent times; persistent increases in the price of fish-feed over recent weeks are threats to the aquaculture industry’s survival in Ghana,” he said.
The Chamber is hence calling on government to step in and help feed-manufacturers to produce at a competitive cost to supply the aquaculture industry.
“The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana is therefore calling on government to increase investment into aquaculture infrastructure, breeding programmes; and also provide incentives for feed-producers to enable them produce feed at a competitive cost.
“Access to feed at a competitive price will increase the production of farmed fish, reduce the selling price of tilapia and catfish, and enhance the protein needs of Ghanaians as fish is the main source of animal protein in Ghana.
“Above all, the aquaculture industry will provide more employment opportunities to the youth and increase its contribution to the GDP,” he said.
Cocoa production to be affected due to fertiliser shortage – COCOBOD CEO reports Lawrence SEGBEFIA
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has warned that cocoa production could suffer a setback in the 2022/2023 crop season as Ghana records a shortage in fertiliser supply due to the Russia war against Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine are the main suppliers of fertiliser to the Ghanaian market, hence the current war between these countries has halted supply. Mr. Aidoo therefore urged cocoa farmers to prepare for switching from the use of imported fertiliser to poultry manure.
According to him, government will no longer be in a position to subsidise fertiliser due the global hike in prices of farm inputs.
“If you look at the policies government has been initiating, they are all targetted at protecting the cocoa farmer. The situation in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus shows that we will not be able to get fertiliser for the crop season,” he said after a short ceremony to swear into office management committees of the Seed Production Division (SPD), Cocoa Research Institute (CRI) and the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) in Accra.
Mr. Aidoo lamented that the war in Ukraine has delayed shipments of cocoa beans at the port from leaving the shores of Ghana to Eastern Europe.
“Government has already paid for the beans after buying them from the farmer, but we are unable to ship the cargo to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus due to the war. It’s really affecting us because these countries pay us when we deliver the beans,” he stressed.
He maintained that there has been sensitisation work to prepare cocoa farmers to switch to using organic manure such as poultry waste.
“I use poultry manure on my cocoa farms. It’s the best. Cocoa farmers from Ivory Coast come all the way to Dormaa to buy poultry manure. The Ghanaian cocoa farmers refuse to use it. Now times are hard. We are urging them to use poultry manure now,” he said.
He stated that the price of fertiliser on the global market has reached alarming levels which can no longer be subsidised by government.
“We are projecting that this issue may affect the industry for at least, two years. Even if the war ends in the shorter period, it is going to take some time for those factories in Ukraine to restart the production of fertiliser and chemicals we import for the farmers,” he said.
Mr. Aidoo explained that Ghana and many West African countries have relied on fertiliser produced in Eastern Europe due to their affordability.
He is of the view that the war in Ukraine will not only affect the cocoa sector but could have dire consequences which may result in global food shortage.
He disclosed that with the record production of the previous season, COCOBOD was hoping to replicate over a million tonnes in production for the 2021/2022 crop season – but has revised the figure downward to 850,000 tonnes.