95 out of a total of 139 Fishermen in the Greater Accra Region have been presented with Government subsidized outboard motors at a ceremony in Tema.
The presentation, according to the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, is in fulfillment of a promise made to the fishermen of Ghana when he met them at a stake holders forum at Tema Canoe Beach, Tema in April of this year to announce incentives that government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had outlined for the 2012 fishing season.
The Minister added that, the subsidized outboard motors – which cost between GH¢6,600 for ADB landed price) and GH¢8,000 on the open market but sold to the fishermen at GH¢4,900, representing a subsidy of 30% to 50% – is just but one of the many good initiatives that government has introduced for the development of the fishing industry and also for the improvement of their own livelihood.
He recounted how the Fishermen through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, made a request to government to subsidize fishing inputs, the same way as it subsidizes fertilizer, seeds and other crop farming inputs.
Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, added that, he was looking forward to a future , where the fishermen will wholly or partially own and manage their own one-stop shop for all fishing gears.
As a sign of his commitment, he challenged the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr. Kempes Ofosuware to help the Fishermen of Tema, identify a place for the setting up of the shop. He assured them of his outfit’s commitment to such a project.
According to the Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, apart from the 800 outboard motors that have been imported by the Agriculture Development Bank and were being distributed, MASLOC has also imported 800 outboard motors in addition to other fishing inputs and gears, which will also be distributed to fishermen.
In conclusion, he commended the chief fishermen for their ingenuity in using the profits from the sale of pre-mix fuel to import fishing gears and equipment for sale to their members.
Mr. Kempes Ofosuware, the Chief Executive of the TMA, cited the de-silting of the lagoon, the increase in the supply of pre-mix fuel, the disbursement of GH¢130 million for the construction of “chokor smokers” for the fishmongers of the Metropolis and the construction of a concrete wharf are indications of government’s commitment to making the life of fishermen much better
Other dignitaries present at the ceremony were Hon. Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Hii Amasah Namoale, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of Fisheries and Mr. Kwaku Nicol, Chairman of the National Pre-mix Committee.
Nii Adjerteh Mato III, Chief Fisherman of Tema, on behalf of Greater Accra Fishermen, thanked government for the support it is giving to the fishing industry. He added that in as much as government is helping in any way possible, they will plead that, it does more.