300 fishermen in the Western Region have received state-subsidized Outboard motors to aid their fishing activities.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Naa Afoley Quaye, told Citi News at the presentation of the outboard motors in Sekondi that the gesture was in fulfilment of the President’s promise to the fishermen in 2018.
The Minister, however, said the outboard motors’ procurement was as a result of a collaboration between the Agric Ministry, Bank of Ghana and the Coastal Development Authority (CODA).
“We promised to support the fishermen wherever we can to ensure that the fisheries industry grows. So the President in 2018 started the process of procuring Outboard motors for fisher-folks. From 2018 we engaged with Agric Bank and then Japan Motors, being the resident company that imports quality Yamaha outboard motors from Japan. Agric Bank got Japan Motors to procure these outboard motors and then eventually funds from the Coastal Development Authority was used to pay for them. We have now brought in 1,300 outboard motors and in all, we would bring about 5,000. One thousand more are already t the Port and we would be bringing the rest.”
On the payment of the outboard motors by the fishermen, the Fisheries Minister said the government has subsided it by 50 per cent. She, therefore, urged fishermen to reciprocate with good fishing practices.
“ We have started the distribution and the government has subsidized the outboard motors at 50 per cent. So fisher-folks are paying 50 per cent. Previously fishermen would pay 60 per cent whiles the state takes 40 per cent but we have made it 50/50. We, however, urge all fishermen to perform the best practices at sea and end all illegal fishing activities. So that State would also benefit from the support it is giving to the fishermen.”
She, however, said Cabinet has approved the Collaborative Management Policy and would be launched very soon to bring all the stakeholders in the fisheries management together with fishermen and Chiefs at the centre. She, however, added that year’s close-fishing season could not be observed because of COVID-19 hence would definitely observe it in 2021.
A fisherman from Axim, Nana Kofi Annan while commending government for the outboard motors also said they would need more.
“We appropriate this start but now we need more because we are many. So need more Outboard motors if he can try for us”.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, on his part, said the government is committed to its promise to support the region with landing beaches.
“This government believes in pushing those at the base to develop in whatever they are doing. If you look at the various landing beaches being built across the Coastal Communities, Western Region has benefited two, with one located at Axim and the other at Dixcove. We started arranging for these outboard motors since two years ago but finally, it is here. This is a testimony that our government believes in the need to support entrepreneurship.”
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