Tilapia farming along the Volta Lake must be regulated to save the industry from collapse.
Mr Mathew Oyih, Volta Regional Fishery Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), gave the caution when officials of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) and Cargill International, Ghana, visited Kpeve Tornu, to see the progress of work on the Global Agriculture Foundation’s tilapia farming project there.
Mr Oyih said the scramble for land along the banks of the Lake and the indiscriminate planting of cages were causes for concern.
He observed that some of those, who had acquired portions of the lake, were not even ready to start operations.
Mr Henry Gidi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Agriculture Foundation said the group was collaborating with the NYEP to train the youth in fish farming and engage some as its workers.
He said the Foundation would establish a hatchery to produce one million fingerlings of tilapia a month from February this year, to be followed by full-scale production of matured tilapia by the end of March this year.
Mr Gidi said the Foundation would establish sales points to distribute its products to registered buyers.
Dr Sammy Doamekpor, Representative of Cargill, Ghana, said tilapia farming had the potential for addressing the protein needs of Ghana.
He said Cargill had almost completed a test of the Ghanaian market for tilapia feed, which constituted 70 percent of tilapia production.
Dr Doamekpor a Nutritionist hinted that the Managing Director of Cargill International would be in the country by March this year, to make a declaration regarding the production of tilapia feed locally.
He said Cargill’s feed would cut down on the maturity period of tilapia from six to five months thereby saving cost.
Mr Semenu Bekui, District Chief Executive of South Dayi said tilapia farming on the Volta Lake should be environmentally friendly.
Reverend Emmanuel Afenu Worlanyo, Executive Director of the Foundation assured those, who have invested in the project that their investments were safe.