As part of efforts to enhance livelihoods of fisherfolk, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) has inaugurated a five-member committee to lead the implementation of an alternative livelihood program.
The committee is Chaired by David Kofi Wuaku, a retired Central Banker and include Matilda Quist, Joseph Yeboah, Daniel Yaw Owusu, Richmond Kotey Djanie, Balotey Gomey, and Oyeman Ofori-Ani as members.
In an inaugural address, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, said the alternative livelihood interventions will be supported by the World Bank through the West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP), which seeks to increase the profits of fisherfolk while strengthening the country’s capacity to sustainably manage the fisheries, reduce illegal fishing, enhance the value-addition and develop aquaculture.
Mrs. Quaye said the alternative livelihood program is aimed at diversifying the livelihoods of fisherfolk as part of Government’s efforts to reduce the excessive fishing pressure exerted on the marine resources. She urged the fisherfolk to take advantage of the scheme to reduce the overdependence on marine fishing.
The Minister also inaugurated a five-member Revolving Fund Committee to spearhead the setting up and implementation of a revolving fund credit scheme (RFCS) for small-scale fish farmers, fish processors and traders. According to the Minister, micro-credits will be provided to groups with membership ranging from 5-10 as part of the Ministry’s efforts to improve access to credit for fish farmers, fish processors and traders. She indicated that the criteria for the selection of beneficiaries will be based on the sound financial viability of the project, sustainability prospects and ability to improve the economic livelihood. She added that they must also have the tendency to reduce poverty among the rural households, women farmers and traders.
She expressed optimism that the revolving fund together with other interventions by WARFP will significantly help in the growth of the businesses of potential beneficiaries. “Key among these interventions by WARFP are the aquaculture business models developed for fish farmers, the several pieces of training and extension services delivered and improved access to quality fingerlings among others”, said Mrs. Afoley Quaye.
She charged the committee members to bring their expertise to bear and work hard to achieve the objectives of the schemes. She also asked the members of the two committees to rise up to the responsibilities
Speaking on behalf of the members of the committees, David Kofi Wuaku, expressed appreciation to the Ministry for giving them the opportunity to serve.