The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has disclosed that investors in aquaculture will enjoy five years tax holidays, duty exemption, among others to promote growth of the sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GIPC, Yofi Grant explained that the $7.4 million investment in the sector is inadequate. As a result, he urged investors to put the aquaculture sector first. He therefore indicated that the incentives will attract more investors into the aquaculture sector.
“There are only about six aquaculture businesses registered with a total investment of about US$7.4 million and about US$3.1 million of foreign direct investments. Now, considering how important the sector is, these numbers are woefully inadequate.
“Hence to make the sector attractive to investors, a business in the aquaculture sector enjoys the following: five years tax holidays for the production of fish; duty exemption on plants, machinery and equipment; automatic immigrant quotas, work and residence permit for foreign companies…”Yofi Grant, GIPC CEO
On his part, Ndiaga Gueye, FAO’s Regional Senior Fisheries Officer emphasized the importance of investments to the aquaculture sector’s growth. He stated that his outfit is investing aquaculture development projects in West Africa due to the prospects of the sector.
“We’re providing our members policy support and capacity building. We’re also implementing projects funded by donors and funding some pilot projects in Africa especially in West Africa where we feel that development of aquaculture is the future.
“I have noticed that here in Ghana, you pay attention to the sector and even have a department at the University of Ghana, specifically to train people in the sector. There is no way we can escape from investing in training and capacity building.”Ndiaga Gueye, FAO’s Regional Senior Fisheries Officer
Call for Specific Sector Policy
According to Prof. Francis Nunoo, Ghana’s aquaculture sector lacks support and specific policy that will help address the sector’s issues. He therefore called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to develop a specific policy to guide the sector. Professor Francis Nunoo is the Head of the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Ghana.
Furthermore, he said Ghana has a lot of gaps in terms of technology. He pointed out that academic institutions create graduates that lack practical experience. Moreover, when individuals are invited to participate in on-the-ground fish farming, they find it demeaning, he added.
“We need technology to use local products to formulate feed and to raise the hatchery as well as prioritize online marketing. We have policies that include the sector but we need to develop a policy specific to the sector.”Prof. Francis Nunoo, University of Ghana.
Prof. Francis Nunoo made the call at the First Hybrid Aquaculture Conference in West Africa, held in Accra. The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana in collaboration with the University of Ghana and World Aquaculture Society organized the three-day event. The event was on the theme, “New Strategies to Promote Inclusion and Transparency in Aquaculture Management in West Africa.”