Home » Bono East Region Boosts Fish Farming with Innovative Strategies

Bono East Region Boosts Fish Farming with Innovative Strategies

New Projects and Training Initiatives Aim to Elevate Aquaculture in Bono East Region

by Adenike Adeodun

The Bono East Regional Fisheries Commission is taking bold steps to enhance fish production in the newly created region with a series of innovative projects and special interventions. Central to these efforts is training fish farmers in fingerling production and local fish feed formulation, which aims to reduce costs and improve hygiene in handling, especially of fingerlings.

The region is also actively engaging in the government’s flagship program, “Aquaculture for Food and Jobs,” which seeks to boost aquaculture production and generate employment opportunities for the youth. Additionally, efforts are underway to increase the number of fish farmers and enhance their marketing skills.

Despite the challenges, 2021 saw the region produce 77.93 metric tonnes (MT) of fish, a significant contribution to the national production of 89,375.48 MT. However, there was a decline to 36.2 MT in 2022. Richard Ametorwosor, the Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, noted that the 2022 national aquaculture production figure is pending certification by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The region, comprising 11 administrative municipal and district areas, has seven engaged in fish production. These areas include Techiman Municipality, Techiman North District, Nkoranza Municipality, Nkoranza North District, Kintampo Municipality, Kintampo South District, and Atebubu-Amantin Municipality, the latter being new to fish farming this year.

According to a report by Daily Graphic, the region has zoned its fish production districts into four: Techiman, Nkoranza, Kintampo, and Atebubu-Amantin zones. In 2022, these zones collectively produced 36.2 MT of fish, with contributions from tilapia and catfish.

The region boasts 104 fish farmers and 213 fishponds, with the highest concentration in the Techiman Zone. However, districts like Sene East, Sene West, Pru East, and Pru West are not currently engaged in aquaculture, relying on Volta Lake for fishing. The commission is working to introduce these districts to fish farming to alleviate hardships during closed seasons.

Kelvin Williams Asuma, the 2023 Bono East Regional Best Fish Farmer, has made significant strides with his farm, “Eagles Croft,” in Techiman Municipality. Asuma’s farm, specializing in catfish, has established about 20 fully-stocked fishponds and eight mini-ponds for fingerling production. Last year, Eagles Croft processed over two MT of catfish and five MT of fresh fish for local and international markets.

Asuma, also a staff member at the Bui Power Authority, plans to expand his operations with a fish processing factory and increase his workforce to about 500 people in the next three years. He has emphasized the economic potential of fish farming and urged the government to halt fish product imports, invest in the sector, and support local farmers in establishing feed and processing factories.

Highlighting the challenges, Asuma mentioned the high feed costs, which have risen significantly. Despite these hurdles, he remains committed to promoting fish consumption and advises new farmers to start with substantial capital and closely monitor their fish, especially during the early stages.

Haggai Foriwaah, the 2020 regional Best Farmer from Nkoranza, echoed the need for government support in storage facilities and market facilitation to reduce post-harvest losses and selling difficulties.

On the call to ban fish importation, Mr Ametorwosor agrees but stresses the need for more investment to increase local production. He highlighted high feeding costs, market issues, and a lack of knowledge in fish farming as significant industry challenges.

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