Fishmongers in Central Region have appealed to the Government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, to provide them with some soft loan facility to expand their businesses.
According to the women, most of them were often left out of various interventions from government to other professionals leaving them with no option other than to go for private loans from banks.
They made the appeal when Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, engaged Chief Fishermen in the region to deliberate on challenges confronting them and find ways to improve their livelihoods.
“Government should give us some loans to invest in our work; we sell other things during the lean season; therefore, we are capable of repaying any loan given us.” Maame Araba Ntaa, a leader of the fishmongers said.
She noted that the recent economic crises in the country , had resulted in high cost of fishing inputs, thereby having negative impact on their lives and that of their families.
Nana Kwame Yah Ababio, Secretary to the Ghana National Canoe and Fishermen Council (GNCFC), Central Region, commended the President for the timely intervention including the ongoing sea defense, construction of fishing harbours, break waters, supply of outboard motors among others, all I am its quest to improve the fishing industry.
He appealed to the Government to intervene in the distribution of premix fuel which was currently riddled by middlemen, hiking prices of the commodity.
On the closed season, Nana Obrenu Dabum III, Chairman of the GNCFC, called on Government to put in place alternative livelihood programs to assist fishermen during the closed season for the betterment of all.
He said the month of July, chosen for the closed season was not the best and must be deliberated upon with real fishers to agree on a better date.
Reacting, Mrs Assan assured the fishermen that Government’s unflinching support towards improving livelihoods to enhance development in the country was unequalled .
She noted that the Region was the largest in fishing activities with longest coastal belts therefore needed assistance for smooth delivery of their activities.
The Minister called on persons involved in illegal fishing to halt their activities and advised the youth in the Region to desist from insulting the elderly when giving platforms on televisions, radio, social media among others.
By Victoria Agyemang, GNA