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Business News of Saturday, 22 May 2021

Source: Stephen Armah, Contributor

Diverse environmental activities pose threats to the survival of aquaculture sector - Regina Bauerochse

Country Director of GIZ Ghana, Ms. Regina Bauerochse Barbosa Country Director of GIZ Ghana, Ms. Regina Bauerochse Barbosa

Current environmental activities in Ghana poses great threat to the living organisms in the ecosystem as well as the sectors of the economy especially to the agriculture and aquaculture sector. The destruction of Ghana’s vegetation coupling with galamsey activities have destroyed the very water bodies which host the aquatic organisms.

“The ecosystem that sustains the thriving of aquaculture sector is under serious threat. Today, news of illegal mining, indiscriminate logging, indiscriminate soil winning and other adverse environmental activities happening across the country, poses major threats to the survival of the aquaculture sector”, the Country Director, GIZ Ghana, Ms. Regina Bauerochse Barbosa has said.

Speaking at the First Hybrid Aquaculture Conference for the West African Region on the theme: “Promoting Inclusion in the Aquaculture Sector for Sustainable Growth and Economic Development”, Regina Bauerochse Barbosa said the water bodies, which host the aquatic organisms are threatened with chemicals and other forms of pollution, making them less inhabitable coupled with the well-known climate change effect across the world, calls for measures aimed at securing the environment.

She extoled the government for the mitigation steps taken so far to tackle the destruction of the water bodies. However, she said more needs to be done. “I am therefore appealing to government, private sectors and non-state actors to join hands to protect the environment and to promote aquaculture development”, she added.

She recognized the needed effort by the Government of Ghana (GOG) to curb the huge difference in fish deficit in the country and to promote aquaculture as the capture fisheries dwindle. According to her, this is a step in the right direction and GIZ, as well as BMZ, understand the role of this sector in building Ghana’s economy since aquaculture has proven over the years to contribute to reducing poverty, improving on food security, promotes a sustainable ecosystem, gender mainstreaming and the generation of foreign exchange.

For sustainable development and to achieve the SDGs, particularly food and nutrition security in Ghana, she said, there should be gender or women empowerment. Despite the number of women engaged in the aquaculture value chain, women still face substantive challenges to engage and benefit equitably from the sector.

Mentioning some of the challenges Regina Bauerochse Barbosa said the contributing factors include limited or no access to resources including finance, social gender norm impediments, over-burden with other chores, and lack of knowledge from technical, and business or entrepreneurship viewpoint.

She lauded the aquaculture sector as a sector that has a vast opportunity to create jobs for the youth and must be incorporated into agriculture training systems.