Pre-mix fuel diversion stokes supply deficit

A group of fishermen mending their canoes, at Abrofo Mpoano in Cape Coast in the Central region of Ghana


The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has identified diversion in the pre-mix fuel distribution process as a major factor contributing to the deficits recorded in 2023.

Last year, a total of 21,748,500 litres as against a target for 78,156,900 litres of pre-mix fuel were supplied to fishers at landing beaches across marine and inland fishing communities in the country.

The shortfall in supply, according to MoFAD’s medium-term expenditure framework document, was largely due to diversion and hoarding.

The document acknowledged that one major component required to safeguard the small-scale fisheries sub-sector and assist the industry to grow is efficient management and distribution of pre-mix fuel.

Premix fuel is government-subsidised and a key fishing input used by artisanal fishers in the capture fisheries subsector (marine and inland) to power outboard motors for fishing expeditions for a majority of over 12,000 canoes in the country’s marine space.

However, smuggling, diversion, hoarding, shortages and politicisation have been the major setbacks for supply and distribution of the commodity since 1994.

Between 2018 and 2022, a total of 392 million litres of pre-mix fuel was supplied to 300 landing beaches across the country.

Sector minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson – at a recent stakeholder meeting with artisanal fishers in the Greater Accra Region, disclosed that government has implemented key mitigation measures to stop diversion and hoarding of the product.

Indeed, the MoFAD in 2023 was scheduled to complete 100 out of the 300 Pre-mix Fuel Automated Projects at designated landing sites. This is to help address incidents of premix fuel diversion and hoarding.

Currently, 50 of the 100 – according to the minister – have been completed with the remainder expected to be completed by end of this year.

The projects, when completed, will ensure efficient tracking, transparent transactions and accurate data collection, which will provide a strong foundation for the optimisation of pre-mix fuel distribution.

Another measure to ensure efficient management and distribution of pre-mix fuel is the introduction of a canoe identification system.

This identification system ensures that artisanal fishers are issued with smart canoe identification cards to enable them dispense pre-mix fuel from the automated dispensing machine.

Madam Koomson appealed for the fishers to stop illegalities which still persist at sea – mentioning that DDT, dynamite and lights are still being used for fishing.

“We are currently scouting for more reputable companies to assist in blending the fuel to enhance distribution. The continuous use of illegalities by artisanal fishers will negate our efforts if they not stopped,” she warned.

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