CSIR-Food Research Institute, Ghana SafeFish Forum

CSIR-Food Research Institute, Ghana SafeFish Forum

Views: 333 Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra, 29/01/2020, Wed 12pm The CSIR-Food Research Institute, Ghana has organised a day forum, christened, SafeFish in...

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Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra, 29/01/2020, Wed 12pm

The CSIR-Food Research Institute, Ghana has organised a day forum, christened, SafeFish in Accra, today. (29/01/2020)

The SafeFish forum has bulk of its focus on: “improving TILAPIA HEALTH TO OPTIMIZE YIELDS”.

It aimed: “to develope bacteriophage cocktails as fish disease biocontrol agents for improved aquaculture productivity among tilapia farmers, and thus economic and social development by addressing food and nutrition security in Ghana and Uganda”.

It also targets to create awareness among fish farmers including women or women groups, inland fisheries sector in Ghana and Uganda, fish traders and exporters, fish processors, consumers, and lines Ministeries for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

According to a represeqntative of the Minister of Environment Science Technology and Industry (MESTI), Madam Lovina Owusu,  Tthe government was committed to improving the sector; it had initiated “acquired culture for food and jobs” at james town in Accra.

She noted that the industry was among the fastest growing ones in the world.

She said it was, therefore, necessary to deepen the relation between research and policy making.

She admonished the researchers to be more proactive in ensuring highest degree of accountability and transparency

“We are spending tax payers’, or stakeholders’ money and so we should put up good behaviour to determine what is best for us, as Ghanaians”.

A Researcher with CSIR, Dr Etornyo Agbeko, in his presentation at the forum, noted that the industry was valued at 163 billion dollars globally, and it was at a fast growing point in Ghana as well.

He said tilapia contributed 52 Metric tonnes in the midst of over one metric tonnes in demand.

Focusing on tilapia production, he said the spice was a source of 40 percent protain and many vitamins, but with low fat.

He enumerated challenges facing the industry include high cost of feed, deterioration in water quality, inadequate fingelines, and bacteria and fungi Infestations.

And that as a result of the challenges, per 2017, 2018 statistics, the production was going down, and the farmers could lose up 70 percent of their fish stock.

To this point, he stated that there were a number of programmes to mitigate the challenges: biocontrol products such as bactirophage under the SafeFish project been executed by the CSIR and other partners including the universities.

He noted that an increase in feed manufacturers coming into the country which translate into lower cost of  fish feed.

Selctive breeding programmes, for quality now tilapia, and the production of quality fo Berlin’s under the TISEED project.

Vaccination for ISKNV and Streptococcus species was underway.

Dr. Agbeko expressed worry over absenteesm fish farmers at their farms, leaving their farms under caretakers.

He said there was only 40 percent female involve in fish farming in the country.

And that only 35 percent of the farmers were educated in the face of the industry now becoming  scientific.