Cedi, Russian-Ukraine war puts aquaculture industry in distress
The cedi’s rapid depreciation against major trading currencies and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war, among other factors, have increased the cost of feed and inputs in production for the aquaculture industry – a development that will soon push farmed-fish prices up, the Aquaculture Chamber has said.
According to CEO of the Aquaculture Chamber, Jacob Adzikah, global shortages of soya and maize have led to an increase in their prices by 40 percent and 60 percent respectively over the last few months.
Also, the Russian-Ukraine war is impacting the price of wheat, soya and maize, as it has led to 50 percent increment in prices of these critical raw materials required by feed producers.
These and other factors, said Mr. Adzikah in an interview with the B&FT, are likely to increase the price of tilapia and catfish by 19-23 percent in the coming weeks; a situation that will add to the already existing woes of the industry, as consumers may reduce patronage of these fish.
“Some of the challenges are the recent increase in import duties on fish-feed raw materials imported into the country by fish-feed producers; the huge depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi against the US dollar and other major currencies; and the cost of fuel and energy are also increasing drastically and having huge effects on the production of fish-feed.
“The abrupt increase in the cost of raw materials for fish-feed, the increase in fuel prices and depreciation of the cedi are driving the cost of fish-feed high in recent times; persistent increases in the price of fish-feed over recent weeks are threats to the aquaculture industry’s survival in Ghana,” he said.
The Chamber is hence calling on government to step in and help feed-manufacturers to produce at a competitive cost to supply the aquaculture industry.
“The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana is therefore calling on government to increase investment into aquaculture infrastructure, breeding programmes; and also provide incentives for feed-producers to enable them produce feed at a competitive cost.
“Access to feed at a competitive price will increase the production of farmed fish, reduce the selling price of tilapia and catfish, and enhance the protein needs of Ghanaians as fish is the main source of animal protein in Ghana.
“Above all, the aquaculture industry will provide more employment opportunities to the youth and increase its contribution to the GDP,” he said.