$11m Elmina fish processing plant now produces only ‘ice-block’

General News of Thursday, 27 September 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2018-09-27

The $11m fish processing plant at Elmina

At the shore of the Elmina beach is an $11 million fish processing plant which was intended to bring lasting relief to the fishing communities in the area.

Fisher folks believed, during the setting up of the plant, that the processing plant would improve their income levels by reducing post-harvest losses.

But the hope of these fisherfolks is fast eroding as government fails to get the factory to work almost two years after its completion.

The plant has facilities for descaling, gutting, filleting, packaging of fish, cold storage with capacity of 100 metric tons, and a waste processing component for producing animal feed.

But it has been reduced to an iced block factory almost two years after its completion.

The processing plant was handed over to a private Ghanaian company, Raphel Spectrum Company Limited, to manage on behalf of the state but it is yet to be operationalised for its intended purpose.

A fishmonger Pakwesi Fynn says the government is failing the coastal dwellers at Elmina.

Auntie Mary, a fish seller said one of the major challenges in the sale of fish is the inadequate storage facilities.

Mary goes to the landing beach at Elmina and buys the fresh fish from the fishermen. Sometimes when she is not able to sell all that she buys from the men, a lot of the fish gets wasted.

Kobina Mensah a fisherman, is worried about the current state of the plant. The huge investment with a potential to employ hundreds of people in this fishing community rotting away each day as it sits at the edge of the beach.

As the fish stock continue to decline globally, the impact will be felt here in Elmina also and the need to preserve some of the fish caught every season becomes even more significant.

That is why government must quickly turn this facility from being an ‘ice block factory’ to what it was originally built for;Fish processing.

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