Rioting fishermen disrupt inauguration of volunteer group

By: Gabriel Ahiabor

Policemen and Navy personnel preventing the demonstrators from causing harm

Policemen and Navy personnel preventing the demonstrators from causing harm

Rioting by a group of fishermen numbering over 500 temporarily disrupted the inauguration of a fisheries watch volunteer group at Otrokpeh, near Big Ada in the Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region last Friday.

The volunteer group was being inaugurated by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye.

The fisheries watch volunteer group is an initiative by the Fisheries Commission and its stakeholders. The groups are to monitor the beaches to enforce fishing regulations and infractions and assist in the prosecution of fisheries violations.

They are also to patrol both sea and land to ensure that canoes that are being used are duly registered.

At exactly 10 a.m., some fishermen from Ada and its environs started the protest, vowing to prevent the minister from swearing in the 50-member volunteer group selected from the Ada East District and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

They destroyed canopies and plastic chairs at the venue for the event and verbally assaulted the minister and her entourage.

It took the police more than an hour to bring the irate youth who had massed up at the scene, amid the chanting of war songs, under control.

Lack of consultation

Mr Enoch Ayittey Tawiah, a former assembly member for Otrokpeh and fisherman, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the fishermen in the area were not consulted by the ministry before forming the volunteer group.

He said the government should have involved them in the decision-making process before the formation of the group and its subsequent inauguration.

According to him, the fishermen were not against any decision by the government to restore marine resources, adding: “All we needed was to be made part of the management of the fisheries resources.”

Event

The event eventually came off amid tight security.

Inaugurating the volunteers, Mrs Afoley Quaye said part of the objectives of the government’s fisheries management plan was to strengthen participatory decision making in the sector.

She said an arrangement known as ‘co-management’ enabled the responsibility of managing the resources to be shared between user groups and the government, adding: “It will also create opportunity for both the community and the government to be involved in the decision-making, implementation and enforcement processes.”

According to her, the low level of decline in fish production was as a result of the rampant use of unauthorised fishing gear such as monofilament nets and light fishing and the use of poisonous substances and explosives in fishing.

Advice

The minister advised the volunteers to be firm in carrying out their mandate and also operate within the laws of the country to bring sanity into the fishing industry.

She assured them of the backing of the ministry, the Ghana Navy, the Marine Police and the Judiciary in their operations.

About 10 per cent of Ghana’s population depends directly or indirectly on the fisheries sector for their livelihood.

The sector contributes 1.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. However, the fish stock is declining as a result of over-capacity, over-fishing and illegal fishing.

 

Source: Graphic online

Begoro farmers want gov’t to fast track one-village one-dam plan

By: Joseph Opoku Gakpo, Myjoyonline.com

 

Farmers at Begoro in the Eastern Region are appealing to government to fast-track efforts at fulfilling its one-village one-dam electoral promise to ensure sustainable vegetable production there.

The farmers have over the years relied on stagnant, dirty and polluted sources to get water to irrigate their vegetables. Farmers at Beregoro grow mainly lettuce, pepper, garden eggs and other vegetables.

These crops require constant watering, else they wilt and die. The farmers claim relying on the polluted water sources has been a major source of fungus infection on their farms which they struggle to deal with.

“The water we rely on is the cause of the fungus infection. Animals including cattle do walk in the stagnant stream and drink from it. In the process, they infect it with the microorganism.

“The moment you use it to water your crops, the fungus then attack the roots of the plants,” Danso Samuel who is a member of the Export Farmers Association in Begoro told Joy News.

The farmers say the destruction by the fungus usually delves a heavy blow to them, as they are unable to harvest enough yield. “The fungus destroys the seedlings, thus causing them to rot. And then they fall,” Danso explained.

“The water is not hygienic. Government should construct mini dams and boreholes for us to make use of in our activities,” he added.

Obed Asiamah, another farmer in the community noted there is the need for vegetables to be grown at places close to water bodies, hence farmers decided to dam a nearby stream allow them to use it for their operations.

But he says it is proving counterproductive now and says it is about time that government acted on their plight.

“We are begging the government to come to our aid. When Nana Addo, was campaigning, he promised one village and one dam. He should quickly fulfill this promise so as to bring us, farmers, some relief,” Asiamah added.

“We started this on our own and dug this but clearly, we need a properly dug out dam. We have built this and now we want government to speedily come and support us in the one-village one-dam policy,” he stated.

Whilst campaigning ahead of elections last year, Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and now President Akufo-Addo promised that if he wins the polls, every farming village will get a dam as part of efforts to ensure all year round production of food to help make the country a net food exporter.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced in the 2017 budget statement delivered to parliament that an amount of 89 million cedis had been allocated for the policy. But ground works to allow for the digging up of the dams are yet to begin.

The Agric Ministry recently announced that an Israeli company, Commercial Project Management Africa has expressed interest in partnering government to construct the dams.

Now, the farmers at Begoro say they are awaiting the speedy fulfillment of the promise to ensure the challenge with irrigation is dealt with once and for all.

Source: modernghana.com

Revamp Pomadze Poultry Farm – Effutu Chief To Government

 

The Paramount Chief of the Efutu Traditional Area, Nenyi Ghartey VII, has appealed to government to revamp the defunct Pomadze Poultry Farm to provide jobs for the youth in the area.

He said the structures of the factory are going waste, and called for it to “be rehabilitated in phases”.

He added the area could be “used to establish a Micro Livestock Project and a Residential Youth in Agriculture Entrepreneurship Programme to train the youths in the production of small ruminants, mushroom and others”.

The Omanhene made the proposal at a durbar in Winneba to mark the 2017 celebration of the annual Aboakyer Festival by the people of Winneba.

The festival was generally peaceful this year as the Winneba town was under heavy security presence from both the police and the military.

Despite its peaceful celebration, the 2017 Aboakyer Festival lost a part of its shine as the Dentsirfo Asafo Company boycotted the event.

The hunt for a deer, the climax of the festival, was thus done by only the Twafo Asafo Company.

The animal was presented to Omanhene Nenyi Ghartey, and later to the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan and the Chieftaincy, Religion and Culture Minister, Kofi Dzamesi who were present at the durbar.

Nenyi Ghartey VII also hinted on the threat posed to the hunting ground for the sacred deers. He solicited support from the President for the place to be preserved and properly managed for tourist purposes.

“We have petitioned the management of the Ghana Tourism Authority to initiate action on this request. If properly managed, we are only optimistic that this festival will become a major income earning cultural event for our people and beyond”, Nenyi Ghartey VII stated.

On the perennial controversies that surround the festival, the Omanhene advised politicians “to allow for its observation without interference to preserve it for its economic benefits to the Efutu community and those around us”.

On his part, Hon Kofi Dzamesi promised the people of Efutu who are mostly employed in the fishing industry: “very soon, the Ministry of Fisheries will be coming to visit your community to address all the problems associated with fishing, especially having to do with premix fuel distribution in this area”.

The Aboakyer Festival is celebrated yearly on the first Saturday in May. It attracts diverse tourists from the world over.

 

Source : Peace Fm

Video: 137 Fishermen Arrested In Accra

A total of 137 fishermen have been arrested at Prampram in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region for engaging in illegal fishing activities.

The suspects, including women and children were arrested by a local watchdog committee set up by the Prampram fisherfolks to prevent illegal fishing activities in the area.

However, some of the suspects were subjected to severe beatings by the Prampram fisherfolks for invading their area with their illegal fishing methods.

Explanation

Confirming the incident to Graphic Online, the Prampram District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Issah Mohammed Cantonam, said the suspects were arrested between May 1 and May 7, this year.

He said the first batch of the illegal fishermen, involving 97 people, including women and children were arrested on Monday, May 1, 2017 while the second batch, comprising 40 people were arrested on Saturday, May 7, this year.

He said items retrieved from the suspects included 17 canoes, power generators, electrical cables and lights, and other illegal fishing tools.

He told Graphic Online that most of the fishermen come from Ada and Tema Newtown in the Greater Accra Region.

Arrest

Explaining why some of the suspected illegal fishermen were manhandled, DSP Cantonam said when the members of the local “sea watchdog committee” confronted them, the illegal fishermen attempted to pour petrol on them thus leading to a scuffle between the locals and the illegal fishermen.

He said due to the activities of illegal fishermen, most coastal areas have set up “sea watchdog committees” as part of measures to halt the illegal activities.

He said the police have seized all the illegal fishing tools from the suspects, including their canoes.

DSP Cantonam, however, said the suspects have been granted bail but would be processed for court soon, adding that the police would also investigate the matter to deal with those who vented their anger on the suspects.


 Source: Peace Fm

Make groundnut farming part of Planting for food and jobs – SADA-CSOs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coalition of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority Civil Society Organisations (SADA-CSOs), have appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to make groundnut farming part of his ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ Initiatives.

According to SADA-CSOs, groundnuts had been identified as one of the major cash crops with huge export potentials for the country as the Northern Savannah Ecological Zones (NSEZ), had the greatest comparative advantage.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga on Monday, the Executive Director of the SADA-CSOs, Mr Bismark Adongo, explained that unlike other crops, the growth of groundnuts required less capital injection into its farming since the crop relied on the fixation of nitrogen for its growth and could also be cropped four times in a year.

“Ghana, with its favourable climatic conditions and abundant rich soil, has a comparative and competitive advantage in groundnuts and hence is well-positioned to take advantage of international market opportunities to develop the sector,” he said.

He stressed that viewing the huge export potentials of groundnuts, there was the need for government, the private sector and NGOs to invest the needed resources in the sector to help reduce poverty in Northern Ghana.

He stated that apart from groundnut farming having the greatest potentials of contributing to poverty reduction, it is one of the areas where many women farmers engaged in each season.

The SADA-CSOs noted that the groundnut production fit into government’s policy of one District One factory and Village One Dam policy and stated that the implementation of the groundnut farming initiative could be improved and expanded for export.

 

Source: Ghana Business News

Seemingly Invasion Of Farms By Army Worms

The Pests Intelligence Control Unit of Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness Executives can confirm a seemingly invasion of cereal farms in the country by army worms, and call on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to act with a sense of urgency.

The Chamber is urging the ministry to release required supplies to the Agricultural Extension Officers across the country to enable them to visit farming communities and render their valuable services to the worried and affected farmers.

We can confirm with certainty that at least four regions in the country have been affected by the army worm invasion.

By this release the Chamber is equally sending a strong caution to all agrochemical dealers in the country, not to take advantage of the situation to exploit the distressed farmers by inflating prices of their goods, as that would bring severe consequences on consumers and the country as a whole.

We are also calling on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to as a matter of urgency, incorporate measures in the government’s*PLANTING FOR FOOD AND JOBS CAMPAIGN* to avoid re-occurrence of above invasions in future.

Many institutions such as the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, ISSER, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Ghana Association of Farmers and Fishermen, Ghana Agricultural Chamber, Queen Mothers Associations, Ghana Agriculture Volunteers of Ghana, Federation of Young Farmers Ghana, at a recent youth forum organized by the University of Ghana School of Continuing and Distance Education, to discuss expectations of stakeholders on the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs program, unanimously agreed that the concept would pose great challenges in its implementation as enough stakeholder consultations were not done and called for review of the program in order to ensure its success.

One Major issue which has been overlooked in the program is *PEST CONTROL MECHANISMS AND POST HARVEST LOSES* and this we strongly urge the government to consider.

Finally the Chamber wishes to call on government to endeavor to provide financial assistance to all farmers taking part in the program to ensure its success.

We also call on the telecommunication companies in the country to help farmers by extending excellent network coverage to farming communities, so farmers can take advantage and benefit from many ICT agriculture based programs and most especially social media business and marketing drive information.

Food is essential to the development and security of any nation, hence the need to provide the maximum state interventions to arrest the rising cost of food in Ghana.

Signed
Anthony Selorm K Morrison
Executive President
Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness Executives
Tel: 0540742111
E-mail: theagribusinesschamber@gmail.com

 

Source: modernghana.com

Care Ghana launches PROSPER project to support farming communities

CARE International in Ghana launched the PROSPER Project in Bibiani-Anhwiaso Bekwai District and Sefwi-Wiawso Municipal Assembly respectively.

PROSPER, is a community-based intervention targeted at enhancing access to education with the provision of school infrastructure, improving nutrition behavior, strengthening women’s empowerment and building the capacity of people living in cocoa farming communities for sustainable development.

The Project was launched in a sequel at Bibiani and Sefwi-Wiawso and was well attended by stakeholders from the respective districts where the PROSPER intervention will be operational.

Addressing participants, the District Coordinating Director for Bibiani-Anhwiaso Bekwai, John Nana Owu, expressed his appreciation for the honour done the district to host such a laudable initiative and promised to work together with all key agencies within the district to support the successful implementation of the PROSPER Project.

Harnessing on CARE’s achievements over the past 23 years, the PROPSER Project Manager, Dr. Theophilus Nkansah urged all key district stakeholders present to familiarize themselves with the core objectives of the PROSPER intervention and support in areas that aligns with their institutional mandate to make the project a success.

According to the Deputy Sustainability Country Lead for Cargill, Samuel Apana, the PROSPER project is a component of Cargill’s global Cocoa Promise, a corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at sourcing cocoa sustainably by improving the livelihoods of individuals living in cocoa growing communities and supporting community development.

The components of the cocoa promise include; farmer education, community development, farm development and farmer cooperative formation.

He also emphasized that due to CARE’s achievements and the success of previous partnerships, Cargill for the third-time running was excited to partner CARE again for the implementation of the community development pillar.

With the support of some selected lead farmers from the Project’s partner communities, representatives from the district and Cargill deputy country sustainability lead, the PROSPER project was declared duly launched.

The PROSPER project is operational in four cocoa districts – Sefwi-Wiawso, Asawinso, Anhwiaso and Awaso- in the Western Region of Ghana, within the following political districts: Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District, Sefwi- Wiawso Municipality, Akontombra District, and Juaboso District. Ultimately, PROSPER aims to promote a sustainable and food secure world.

The PROSPER project which delivers the community development component of the Cargill Cocoa Promise is a three-year intervention supported by Cargill and implemented by CARE, an international NGO with expertise in community development. Overall, the project will be rolled out in about 200 communities over the 3-year

 

Source: modernghana.com

EU partners with Ghana to improve fisheries sector

By: By Lydia Asamoah

GNA Accra, April 7, GNA – A European Union funded project dubbed, ‘Ensure Greater Environmental Sustainability and Social Equity in Ghana’s Fishery Sector, has been launched to help promote food security and improved livelihoods in the sector.

The project would also help in reducing illegal fishing activities and promote participatory co-management of fisheries.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), a UK based non-profit organization working to protect the environment and defend human rights is partnering Hen Mpoano, a non-profit organization based in Ghana to implement the three-year project.

Ghana’s fisheries sector is a significant contributor to the economy and is the main source of income for millions of people.

About 70 per cent of Ghana’s fish catch comes from the small-scale artisanal sector, but overfishing, illegal fishing and poor management are threatening the long-term sustainability- hitting these small-scale fisheries the hardest.

The project seeks to empower small-scale fishers to secure their tenure rights, implement a co-management approach to fisheries, combat illegal fishing and promote alternative livelihoods as a means to reduce dependence on the fishing sector.

Mr Kofi Agbogah, Director of Hen Mpoano, said the project would be implemented in 10 districts within the Central Region and the Volta Estuary where, fisher folks would be engaged in ways of improving good fishing practices while supporting efforts towards the eradication of poverty and hunger within these communities.

‘It is important that we empower these communities and ensure that their voice is heard as artisanal fishers have a vital role to play if we want to retain the sustainability in the fishing sector. We need to secure these communities’ tenure rights, and ring fence their traditional fishing activities against external aggression such as urbanization or other economic activities’

Mr Agbogah said the Fisheries Commission would as usual give the necessary support as stakeholders get ready to prepare the action plan that would guide the implementation process.

Mr Antoine Rougier, Country Coordinator of EJF, commended Ghana for its efforts in tackling the unsustainable and illegal fishing practices that has far too long plagued the sector.

He said statistics shows that West Africa has the highest rate of illegal fishing practices in the world and that Ghana was also losing so much money to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and this contravenes international law on fishing.

Mr William Hanna, EU Ambassador, said a total of 1.9 million Euros is being given as a grant to support the project.

He said a few years ago, ERU was worried about how fishing was being done in Ghana and so it issued a warning for the country to regulate its fishing activities before it could export fish to some European countries.

‘The good news is that Ghana has worked so hard and today the EU is here to help ensure the sustainability of the fishing sector’, Mr Hanna said.

Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, in a speech read on behalf, commended all the stakeholders in the effort that would ensure improved management of the fishing sector.

She said co-management in fisheries would enable responsibility of the resource to be shared between user groups and the government, and opportunities would be created for both the community and government to be involved in decision-making, implementation and enforcement processes.

She said government was working with other partners to engage fisher communities to participate in the co-management of the fisheries resources.

‘Under this, volunteers in pilot communities-cluster within the Greater Accra Region are being trained and equipped to undertake education and sensitization of their community members on the fisheries laws, report and assist in the prosecution of fisheries infractions, conduct lake and land patrols and also to undertake registration of canoes.

‘Other co-management arrangements to institute rights-based approaches in fisheries resource management are being piloted under the West Africa Regional Fisheries programme in some communities in the marine and inland areas’.

Mrs Quaye thanked the EU for assisting Ghana in achieving sustainable fisheries management through the implementation of the EU regulation on IUU while assisting the country to strengthen its capacity in fisheries governance and effective monitoring, control and surveillance.

She said the assistance has also enable Ghana to develop the National Plan of Action to combat IUU, the National Marine Fisheries Management Plan and the amended sections of Fisheries Act 625 and Fisheries Amendment Regulations L.I 1968 to incorporate deterrent penalties for IUU offences.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Gov’t slashes fertilizer prices by 50%

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/Pius Amihere Eduku, citibusinessnews.com

Government has reduced the prices of fertilizer by fifty percent.

This according to government is to motivate farmers to increase crop yields and also pave way for more exports.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture revealed that the price of compound fertilizer (NPK) which was GH¢85 in 2016, is now selling at GH¢ 57.50 pesewas.

The Ministry also revealed that the price of urea is currently selling at GH¢47.50 pesewas instead of the GH¢80 it was previously been sold at.

“Organic fertilizer will be GH¢15 flat. What it means is that the 57 cedis represents 50% reduction as the subsidy amounts to 50%. The cost to the government is Ghc115 per bag of 50kg for NPK which is the most common form of fertilizer. A farmer is paying only half of it, which amounts to Ghc57.50 pesewas.” Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said.

Announcing the reduction, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the move is part of measures to enhance productivity in the agric sector.

“In terms of comparison with last year, we hope that this huge reduction in price for the farmer would encourage more farmers to apply fertilizers so that we can raise the productivity on the farms this year.”

Farmers upbeat about 50% reduction in production cost

Meanwhile farmers have welcomed the reduction in the prices of fertilizers.

They contend that the development will increase their yields and reduce the high operational losses due to food rot.

The President of the Ghana Agricultural Chamber of Commerce, Philip Abayori also tells Citi Business News the reduction should help farmers save up to fifty percent of operational cost.

“The fertilizer was taking about forty-five and in some cases sixty percent of the cost of production. In that case, it hardly made the farmers competitive compared to their peers from across the sub-region.”

“The other good thing of this development is that it will allow more use of fertilizer among agricultural production to increase crop yields,” he explained.

Source: modernghana.com