GHANA – Ghana has launched a mobile application that supports fish farming management and marketing, wrapping up a three-year study on aquaculture enhancement in the nation.
The fish farm tracker App offers a computerized solution for business and economic management, general record keeping, data collection, administration of production, basic fish health and water quality monitoring, and management of fish farms.
Additionally, it will act as a real-time online fish market, help farmers with extension work, and give them a forum on which to interact with peers, customers, and specialists.
The project, titled “Accelerating aquaculture development in Ghana through sustainable Nile Tilapia seed production and dissemination (TiSeed),” was carried out by a group of national and international research institutions, under the direction of the International Food Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
With an emphasis on women and young small-scale fish farmers, the initiative was launched in February 2019 with the goal of addressing difficulties in the tilapia seed and extension system to increase productivity and profitability of tilapia cage and pond farming in Ghana.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s Director of Research, Statistics, and Information Management, Mr. Ishmael Adjei Brown, who introduced the App on behalf of the sector minister, predicted that the sector will benefit from the App and the knowledge generated by the project.
He exhorted beneficiaries to impart their newly gained knowledge and abilities on others, while urging the Fisheries Commission to support the implementers in expanding their work.
Dr. Catherine Ragasa, the project’s lead, stated in a presentation that the initiative, which received U.S$ 1.4 million from the Netherlands and other sponsors, was implemented in seven regions: Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, and Greater Accra.
She said 378 fish farmers, zonal officers and youth were trained, with 36 hatchery and nursery operators supported to improve their operations with research papers and other documents to aid knowledge acquisition.
Between 2020 and 2021, the TiSeed project increased fish farming output by 2,500 tons, according to Dr. Ragasa.
“More than half of the trained farmers experienced lower fish mortality, faster growth and heavier fish and also improved their records keeping, water management and biosafety practices.
“The training has led to an increase of 0.48 more kilogramme of fish harvested per square metre, or U.S$ 627 additional income per trainee per year on average,” Dr Ragasa said.
In a speech delivered on his behalf, the Director of the CSIR-WRI, Prof. Mike Atweneboana, stated that when the project began, the tilapia seed system had been corrupted, leading to the loss of low-quality seeds, job losses, and food insecurity.
He lauded implementers for overcoming COVID-19 obstacles to accomplish their goal and urged stakeholders to use project best practices to aid in the socioeconomic growth of the nation.
According to Ms. Jennifer Viglo, a Senior Manager at the FC, the fishery industry provides employment for many people in the nation, so it must be sustained at all costs.