Business News of Friday, 20 January 2017
The country’s fisheries sector is attracting a lot of investor-interest from Denmark, a country with decades of expertise in aquaculture.
Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, told the B&FT that: “There is an interest in the fisheries sector. We see more and more interest from Danish companies. Our plan is that we are continuing to encourage Danish investors into Ghana’s aquaculture sub-sector.
We are also telling them that this is one of the interesting countries to do business and if they go about it the right way and they make sure that they adhere to the requirements, then it’s a very interesting country to do business.”
The interest shown is welcoming, given the large deficit in fish production in the country. Ghana imports about half of the fish it consumes; as local fish producers struggle to meet demand amidst declining fish stock.
Data available to the B&FT indicate that in 2014, fish consumption reached a million metric tonnes, which is more than the 900,000 metric tonnes consumed in 2013.
In 2015, only 400,000 metric tonnes was supplied from the country’s catches at sea and through aquaculture production, with the rest being imported at a cost of about US$200million every year.
To reverse the situation, government would have to streamline land acquisition processes for aquaculture development, resolve electricity challenges, and block the charging of illegal fees by various assemblies, among others.
Ambassador Degnbol, who spoke to the B&FT at the official opening of a depot for Aller Aqua, a Danish fish feed manufacturer, at Senchi in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region said: “The issue of land is obviously a challenge. One needs to carefully study the specific situation and be absolutely sure that you have a lease which is still valid.”
“Then we always have the issue of power and electricity, but it’s been stable for a while; but sometimes ago it was not so stable. With infrastructure in general, we have had some difficulties in request for illegal fees, this is one of the things Danish companies are talking a lot about and we are very hopeful that something will be done to avoid such situations so that we can invest.”
Aller Aqua produces fish feed for freshwater and marine aquaculture. The company has factories in Denmark, Poland, Germany and Egypt and exports to more than 50 countries worldwide.
The company has products for more than 25 species of fish, including tilapia, which is preferred by aquaculture farmers along the Volta River.
“We have set up this depot to make sure that our quality products are available and close to the aquaculture farmers who need it. Farmers can now focus on their farms,” Mr. Emmanuel K. Ofosu, Country Manager of Aller Aqua said.