Coppens trains 70 fish farmers in modern aquaculture

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 fish farmersSeventy selected fish farmers along the Volta Lake have undergone a one-day training session aimed at equipping them with modern techniques in aquaculture, to enable them take advantage of Government?s five-year aquaculture development plan.

The training session, which took place at Akosombo in the Eastern Region, has been designed to help Government achieve the country?s target of producing 400,000 tonnes of fish within a five-year period to meet the national fish protein requirement.

The seminar, under the theme ?Prudent farm management practice for maximum fish yield: a measure towards meeting Ghana?s protein requirement for a healthy population?, was organised by Coppens Ghana — an international and globally acknowledged dealer in fish feeds.

This is the second time that Coppens Ghana has — with support from its mother company, Coppens International based in The Netherlands ?organised such farmer sensitisation programme on effective use of the company?s feeds to ensure optimum fish harvest.

The company?s Export Manager, Mr. Marc Verkuyl, said officials from the company have been visiting farmers who benefitted from the first training workshop last year on their farms — taking them through practical demonstrations to ensure that skills acquired from the workshop are put to good use.

Mr. Emmanuel Aryee, Deputy Head of the Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the Fisheries Commission, said Ghana currently produces far below 50 percent of its protein needs as result of fast-depleting ocean-fish stocks, which has also made fishing itself unattractive.

He partly blamed the depletion of the country?s marine resources on illegal fishing methods used by some fishermen, saying that the situation is better in neighbouring countries due to strict adherence to the fishing laws by the people.

He said the five-year aquaculture development plan will significantly increase the country?s fish stock from 27,000 tonnes 100,000 tonnes per annum.

It will also provide the necessary skills and support for fish farmers to enable them produce more for the country?s protein needs, and he advised them to form cooperatives to make it easier when seeking Government support.

Dr. Peter Ziddah, a fish-health specialist who was a resource person, appealed for Government to regulate the use of agro-chemicals in the country — which according to him pose a threat to aquaculture, especially along the Volta basin.
He also advised the participants to follow instructions and take their business seriously.

The Sales and Marketing Manager of Coppens Ghana said the company understands the needs of Ghanaian fish farmers, and therefore her outfit will continue to train them through such programmes.

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