A delegation from the Gambian Ministry of Fisheries has paid a working visit to the R&B Farms Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian earthen pond farms at Gomoa Nsuaem in the Central Region, to learn best practices in aquaculture.
The team was led by Mr Omar S.M. Gibba, the Chief Director of the Gambian Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, to have first-hand information and adopt same in their Country.
Other members of the delegation were Madam Ann Mbembir, Director of Fisheries, Mr Momodou Saidyleigh, Head of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, and Mr Bakari Conteh, Planning Officer at the Gambian Ministry of Fisheries.
Barely two years into the establishment of the R&B Farms, it is gradually becoming a model of aquaculture development in the sub-Region.
It is arguably the biggest inland fish farms in Ghana operating on a 30-acre land, and producing tilapia and catfish to meet the fish demand in Ghana and the international markets.
The farm currently has 36 ponds with each pond accommodating about 100,000 fishes.
The founders; Mr Richard Ekow Quansah, a Ghanaian-born and German trained ‘Green Entrepreneur with more than 30 years business experience and Mr Benjamin Turkson, a Chartered Accountant who previously had a stint with the United Nations, are convinced of the social and economic benefits of fish farming.
Mr Turkson, the Director of Operations, said their vision was to help create jobs, particularly for the youth and women, sustain fish consumption in the country and ultimately improve the economy of the Central Region.
Briefing the delegation, he indicated that the R&B Farms had become a fully integrated fish farm producing its own hatchery and feed with a dam to provide all year-round water.
The dam, he said, was to ensure that they did not rely solely on the Ayensu River nearby as its main source of water.
With the objective to provide 10 million jobs in 10 years, Mr Turkson said the R&B Farms had put up an ultra-modern training centre for free skills training in aquaculture as part of its development programmes.
He said it was the vision of the company to introduce aquaculture to the youth and train them at an early stage to make it a profitable venture.
After the training, beneficiaries would be provided with start-up kits to begin their business and given on-site training, fish farm supply, and technical guidance until their first harvest in their communities.
“Many of the teeming unemployed youth can be encouraged to get into aquaculture with the right vision, knowledge, and training to make them earn a decent living,” Mr Turkson said.
Mr Arthur Dadzie, the Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission, commended the founders for contributing to solve the fish deficit problem of the country.
He said the Commission did the soil profiling and testing and provided the necessary expertise to ensure the farm was built to acceptable standards.
“I must say the fruit of that labour is what we are witnessing today and we commend them for the good work they are doing, we have also strategically asked our staff to constantly visit this farm and give them the necessary support and advice,” he added.
Mr Gibba, on his part, urged managers of the farm to put more emphasis on how to court support to realise a formidable enterprise.
He said his team would collaborate with other international donors to help expand aquaculture in Gambia.
At the farm to welcome the delegation were Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, Mrs Naana Eyiah Quansah, Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central, and Mr Michael Arthur Dadzie, the Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission.
In June this year, the Sierra Leonean Minister of Youth Affairs, Mr Mohamed Orman Bangura, and his entourage also paid a working visit to the farms on a similar mission.
Credit: News Ghana