The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGAIR) has introduced an initiative to support the Government’s quest to ensure food security.
The three-year “Resilient Aquatic Food Systems” initiative for smallholder farmers and other value chain players in the aquaculture sector, is aimed at integrating exiting Government programmes to address the challenges that hinder productivity.
The programmes include the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs, One Village-One Dam (1V1D), and One District-One Factory (1D1F).
Aquaculture production in Ghana amounted to some 76.6 thousand metric tons in 2018, and the Resilient Aquatic Food Systems is aimed at providing strategic directions in water resources management to increase the country’s food production.
It is also aimed at increasing nutritional outcomes, create jobs in the value chain particularly for the youth and women, and reduce the negative impact of climate change on people and the environment.
The initiative would tackle systemic challenges such as data gaps, power irregularities, water resource mismanagement, limited research investment and missed opportunities for scaling through agricultural innovation systems.
Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), who launched the initiative in Accra, said it was concurrent with the Ministry’s Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) and the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs project.
“It is worthy of note that the programme would collaborate with Fisheries Commission and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to co-design innovative packages that allows the integration of aquaculture into small water infrastructures within the existing framework of One Village One Dam strategy implementation,” she noted.
The Minister said that the initiative was prompt and that her outfit would provide the needed support to ensure that all aquaculture activities under the programme were aligned with ongoing initiatives by the Government.
Mrs Koomson urged implementers to introduce innovations in the fish market value chain engagements to ensure that the aquaculture production was well aligned with the fisheries value chain.
Dr Olufunke Cofie, Country Representative, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), told the Ghana News Agency that the initiative was introduced to support ongoing Government programmes to build a resilient aquatic food system.
She said: “We’re working together with our other CGIAR centres to ensure that we have the right data, addressing the problems that are constraining the productivity for the right decision to be made in the implementation process.”
The Resilient Aquatic Food Systems initiative would be jointly implemented by CGAIR, IWMI, Fisheries Commission, Council for CSIR, MOFAD, Northern Development Authority and District Assemblies.
The initiative, which will also work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nigeria, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Zambia, is expected to ensure that about four million people in target countries met their smallest micronutrient requirements.