Some small-scale aquaculture producers have stressed the need to regulate and guide the pricing of aquaculture products, such as tilapia and catfish.
They said in the current environment where production cost was skyrocketing, a pricing regime was necessary to check the activities of intermediaries (middlemen) whom they claimed made huge profits at the expense of farmers.
They alleged that some of the intermediaries used unfair means to purchase aquaculture produce below production cost at the farm gate and resold it on the market to make excessive profits.
The concerns of the producers, which bordered on unfair pricing practices in the aquaculture sector, dominated discussions at the opening of a workshop for small-scale fish farmers in the aquaculture value chain at Peduase in the Eastern Region.
The three-day workshop, which began yesterday, is expected to build the capacity and competitiveness of the farmers in the area of operational financial management.
The 15 participants are from the Ashanti, Eastern and Volta regions.
The workshop is being organised by the Ghana Aquaculture Association (GAA), in partnership with the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Programme and the Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana (CAG).
The National Organiser of the GAA, Francis de Heer, called for unity among members.
“We have noticed that once the intermediaries realise the fish has already been brought out of the fish pond and, therefore, cannot be sent back because the fish will die, they start dictating the prices, which the farmer has no option but to accept,” he said.
He said the GAA would now adopt the Nigerian approach, where farmers determined the prices of their produce.
The 2021 Best Fish Farmer in the Ashanti Region, Kwabena Gyimaning, said forming a united front would enable the government to formulate deliberate policies to support the growth of the aquaculture industry.
He called for a reduction in fish imports to boost local production.
The Chief Executive Officer of the CAG, Jacob Adzikah, explained that the training was designed to equip smallholder fish farmers with the ability to determine the cost of production and fix appropriate prices for their produce.
“This training will go a long way to enhance the skills of the farmers to determine their final output, fix the right rate and be able to decide the margin for their work,” he said.
For his part, a consultant at WISHH, John Domozoro, said the training was a hands-on workshop that would empower participants with skills in financial management in aquaculture production.