Harnessing aquaculture as a strategy for poverty reduction in some selected Districts in the Western Region of Ghana

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This research work investigates the role that both the private and public sectors have played to harness the development of aquaculture in the three selected districts of the Western Region, namely Juabeso, Bia and Aowin Suaman. The NDPC (2002-2005) indicates that there is a high incidence of poverty (59 percent) among food crop farmers. They further indicated that 54 percent of the populations do not have access to safe water and other basic services. The need to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions has ignited the call for diversification of agricultural activities through aquaculture. Following literature review, reconnaissance survey was conducted to identify the difficulties to be anticipated in the area and to establish a rapport with potential respondents in the three districts. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted and three districts where aquaculture was a major occupation were randomly selected out of five. The objective was to keep the cost of the survey low without seriously affecting the validity of the results. This was followed by questionnaire survey and interviews with those engaged in aquaculture. The data analyses revealed associated with labour shortage, land acquisition, lack of financial support and the deficiency in the number of staff with knowledge in aquaculture made the industry unattractive to farmers. The District Assembly should facilitate the provision of financial support to the farmers through the banks. The research recommends that farmers should form Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in order to access loans and help each other in digging their ponds and also award hardworking fish farmers during farmers’ day celebrations. There is also the need to train more staff and farmers to acquire techniques in aquaculture and research into fish species that can thrive well in the study area. In collaboration with MoFA, the District Assembly should establish hatcheries at district capitals for easy accessibility. If these measures are put in place, the small scale rural farmers would have improved their standard of living.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, In Partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning