Mr Hanson Kodzo Dzamefe Jnr., the Bono Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission (FC) has stressed the need to promote backyard fish farming as means to improve the country’s stock of fish production.
”Taking the per capita consumption of fish annually, on averagely every Ghanaian consumes about 24.6 kilogrammes (kg), compared to the world average of 20 kg and West African average of 14 kg, so, even in the sub-region Ghanaians are the highest consumers of fish,” he noted.
”Are we able to produce enough fish for our people to eat”? he quizzed, saying, there had always been a deficit in consumption against production.
He said the country’s 2021 annual fish production was 628,617.53 metric tons, whereas 1,268,800 metric tons were required to meet national demand.
Mr Dzamefe Jnr. said the country imported additional tons of fish worth more than US$67 million to augment the 2021 deficit, saying something needed to be done to meet the demand for fish consumption.
”If we get a lot of people to start up this initiative in their homes, an increased amount of national fish production would be guaranteed,” he said.
Mr Dzamefe Jnr. added, besides complementing their meals with quality fish protein, it would be an opportunity to create employment for them and also serve as recreation.’.
He explained, that vegetables and other crops were cultivated in the backyards, hence fish farming was no exception because fishponds could be done using concrete tanks and collapsible tanks, made from tarpaulin to raise fish for home consumption.
”What thrives more is the catfish, because they are robust and can be raised everywhere in clean water, except pipe-borne and other waters with chemicals” he added.
Mr Dzamefe Jnr. said the region had trained interested individuals to engage in that, saying some people had started doing it.
He assured the Commission’s commitment to providing extension services to all who have the desire to practice it, saying field officers would constantly monitor to ensure farmers would adhere to best practices such as observing biosecurity measures.