admin | September 26, 2021
This edition’s Farmer stories from Burkina Faso and DRC focus on fish farming, as does our Script of the week. The script discusses fish farming in Ghana, but the principles and practices can be applied anywhere where farmers raise fish.
The conditions for aquaculture are good in Ghana. The climate is ideal for raising tilapia and many other species, water quantity and quality are outstanding, there is an abundant labour force, and the country has enough agricultural resources to supply a large fish feed industry.
There are two challenges to making aquaculture a reality in Ghana: the lack of readily available tilapia fingerlings and the lack of readily available, standardized, and affordable pelleted fish feed.
There is a limited supply of tilapia fingerlings available in Ghana, and the fingerlings are quite expensive. This high cost and the resulting low profit limits farmers’ enthusiasm for fish farming.
But Ghana is introducing a program to make fingerlings available year-round in large quantities, at a cost of between 2% and 7% of the price of mature fish. This will change the dynamics of fish farming dramatically.
Currently, commercial fish food is imported to West Africa from South America, the Middle East, or Asia. The high cost of these imports places them out of reach of most small-scale farmers in Ghana, who substitute local feed made from palm oil residue and cassava peelings. These are low-nutrient materials, and result in poor quality and inconsistent fish production.
The script is based on an interview with Mr. Peter Opoku, a fish farmer from Mankranso, in the Ashanti Region of central Ghana, and Professor Stephen Amisah, Dean of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University. It addresses both of the challenges mentioned here.
You might choose to present this script as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
You could also use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating your own programming on fish farming in your country.
Talk to fish farmers and aquaculture experts. You might ask them:
- What are the market opportunities for producing and selling fish in your community, region, or country?
- What are the major production and marketing challenges, and what solutions have farmers found to address these challenges?