An inland Fish Farm which is arguably the biggest Ghanaian owned fishing company in the country has been developed by two businessmen at Gomoa Nsuaem in the Gomoa Central District in the Central Region.
The farms known as “R & B Farms, established in May 2020, has the vision to become a leader in the fish farming business and to lead in the pure organic and sustainable fish production in the country.
The mission of the farms which is within close proximity to the Ayensu River is to contribute to narrowing down the fish demand and supply deficit in Ghana, the West African sub-region and the diaspora communities in North America and Europe by improving traditional production and efficiency.
The farm’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is also a partner, is Mr Richard Ekow Quansah, a Ghanaian-born and German trained ‘Green Entrepreneur with more than 30 years business experience. He has achievements in the world of business.
The Director of Operations and a partner, Mr Benjamin Turkson, on the other hand, is a Chartered Accountant who previously had a stint with the United Nations (UN) and other reputable local and international organisations.
He has extensive experience in local and international corporate finance and project management.
The owners have a strong passion and zeal to put their experience and expertise together to contribute significantly towards transforming the nation’s aquaculture sector to be at par with other developed countries.
Currently, R & B Farms is one of the largest inland fish farms in the country operating on 26 hectares of land to produce tilapia and catfish to meet the fish demand in both Ghana and the international markets.
About 13 new large ponds are under construction in addition to 23 already existing ponds with each pond having the capacity to accommodate about 100,000 fishes.
In order not to rely on the Ayensu River nearby as its main source of water, a huge dam is currently under construction to provide a year round water supply to the farms to enhance its operations.
The founders, convinced by the social and economic potential of fish farming, and focused on the goal to become the first indigenously-owned integrated fish and feed exporter is collaborating with the Fisheries Commission (FC) to set up an Aquaculture Training Programme.
Skills training programme
The two-week training programme is targeted at schools, youth and women in selected communities with the primary objective of increasing women and youth participation in the aquaculture sub-sector.
It will provide on-site training within farms’ facilities, equipment (fish tanks), fish farm supply, technical guidance to beneficiaries until their first harvest and potential off takers for their harvests.
Also, it is intended to introduce fish farming at the early stages of youth education, improve the national nutritional status and provide employment. The project aims to set up 1,000 fish ponds in selected communities in four regions in the southern part of Ghana over a two year period.
Delegation visits farm
The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, accompanied by the Regional Coordinating Director, Mr Kingsley Adjei Boahen, the Member of Parliament(MP) for the area, Madam Naana Eyiah together with the Sierra Leonean Minister of Youth Affairs, Mr Mohammed Orman Bangura and his team paid a visit to the farms last Monday.
Mr Bangura, who was on an official visit to the country, took the opportunity to visit the farms to understand their operations in order to replicate the best practices in his country.
Briefing the delegation, Mr Turkson noted that their vision to venture into the fishing industry is aimed at improving the fortunes of the region and to create numerous direct and indirect jobs for particularly the youth.
He said “we are poised to make Ghana the hub of aquaculture so as to export fish to the sub-region to improve the nation’s economy”, noting that “although the farms is less than a year, we currently have 350,000 fish stock of tilapia and catfish ranging between one week and five months old”
He noted that by the end of December 2021, they would have 2,000 tonnes of fish amounting to two million individual fish stock if all the ponds under construction are completed and stocked with fishes.
For his part, Mr Quansah noted that in the next two years, they were optimistic of creating five million jobs across the country through their farms to cut down the high unemployment rate among the youth.
He noted “as a nation, we cannot continue to do business as usual by importing products that we can easily produce here for our own benefit”.
Mr Bangura expressed delight about the operations of the farms as the best practices learnt would be replicated in Sierra Leone to create a lot of decent jobs for the youth, indicating “I am personally here to acquire first-hand information to be able to get it right when similar programmes are rolled out in my country”.
The MP for the area, Madam Naana Eyiah acknowledged that the setting up of the farms in the area would open up the district to a lot of development as well as provide jobs to many people.
Mrs Assan, in a remark, stated that marine fishing is facing a lot of challenges and that it was about time the nation turned its attention to inland fishing as a viable alternative to produce more fishes for both local and international markets.