The first harvest of the cage fish farm at Baleofiiri in the Wa West district of the Upper West Region came off with lots of excitement from residents as well as dignitaries who graced the occasion.
The cage fish farm project is under the food security and environment facility of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development(MLGRD) which is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented by Zoomlion Ghana limited.
The project is a three year project and is been implemented in two districts in the Upper West region. Four communities namely Nandom Guo, Kokoligu, Yeliyiri and Baleofiiri will benefit from the project.
Upper West Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Alhaji Abdulai Abdallah stated that the project is aimed at ensuring that nutritional values of households are improved in the entire district and the region at large.
It is also to create employment for youth and a source of small scale business development in the agriculture sector.
Alhaji Abdulai appealed to the chiefs, elders and youth of the community to take control and protect it for generations yet unborn.
He tasked them to put measures in place to ensure that the programme is sustained after the MLGRD/CIDA support is withdrawn after the stipulated three year period.
‘‘We have to make efforts to save and invest surplus proceeds that may be obtained from the project.
However, care must be taken not to sacrifice the nutrition of children and women in the interest of investment and expansion of the project,’’ he added.
The Upper West Zoomlion Manager urged beneficiary communities to ensure that there is positive competition among them which he says may be the basis for future expansion of the project to other parts of the district.
He noted that the Upper West region has a total of about 150 perennial dams across the districts which provide an opportunity for development of cage fish culture throughout the region.
This he stated has attendant benefit of increasing employment potentials in the region, increasing incomes of individuals, improving nutritional needs of families, diversifying traditional culture of crop and animal husbandry and reducing poverty in the region.
Alhaji Abdulai appealed to CIDA and MLGRD to further assist in the expansion of the projects to all districts in the region.