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Industry movers and shakers awarded at Aquaculture Ghana 2023

Wontesty Ventures was a big winner at this year's awards night

May 15, 2023  By Bob Atwiine

An aearial view of exhibition hall of Aquaculture Ghana 2023 (Photo: Bob Atwiine)

The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana awarded this year’s movers and shakers of aquaculture industry at a colourful gala held at World Trade Centre in the capital Accra.

The winners were rewarded for their outstanding contributions and achievements in different aquaculture fields at a dinner and awards night organized under the auspices of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Fisheries Commission.

The event also marked the end of long week of the Aquaculture Ghana Exhibition 2023 (April 26-27) which attracted dozens of aquaculture exhibitors from across Ghana. Stakeholders got opportunity to share ideas and looked at new technologies in fish farming.

The Young Aquapreneur Award focused on a start-up with less than three years in operation and has identified a market gap to launch a new business. In this category, Frank Owusu of Aquamet Technologies was the winner while Shadrack Amponsah of Wontesty Ventures was named runner up.

Amponsah also scooped best award for Aquaculture Sustainability Award and Aquaculture researcher of the year 2022. His research on aquaculture is widely published in recognized journals and his findings have been adopted by the aquaculture industry and with a significant impact.

Wontesty Ventures a company that specializes in the setup of recirculating aquaculture fishponds, production was awarded for Aquaculture Innovation and Technology Award. This was in recognition because of its innovative solution that has made a huge contribution to processing, product development, fish health, biosecurity, sustainability, production performance, and protecting the ecosystem in the country.

Female Aquapreneur of the Year 2022 was awarded to Mabel Quarshie of Aquatic Foods Ltd.

The Unsung Hero Award recognizes individuals who have contributed behind-the-scenes to find solutions to a key challenge in Ghana’s aquaculture industry and Jacques Magnee, commercial director at Raanan Fish Feed West Africa, was the winner.

A female representative from Tropo Farms receives the award. (Photo: Bob Atwiine)

Aquaculture Marketer of the Year 2022 was given to Volta Catch Fish Farm. Volta Catch also achieved the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its work supporting the local community.

Tropo Farms scooped up Aquaculture Farm of the Year 2022 for being the best licensed commercial fish farm with a sustainable business model.

Raanan Fish Feed West Africa was awarded for being the Outstanding Fish Feed Company of the Year 2022 with known brand with quality fish feed for fish farmers.

Others awarded are Mr.Mark Amerchi, founder of Tropo Farm; Patricia Sarfo, founder of Crystal Lake; and Peter Zidah, former director of Fish Health Directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Commission Ghana. These were recognized for their individual efforts of contributing to and transforming Ghana’s aquaculture.

Aquaculture Input Supplier of the Year 2022 was awarded to Akriset Enterprises Ghana for showing commitment to supplying quality input and products to enhance the growth and sustainability of Ghana’s Aquaculture industry.

Chairperson of the Chamber for Aquaculture Ghana, Dr. Ruby Asmah noted that the maiden edition of the Aquaculture Awards was to acknowledge stakeholders that have survived the turbulence of the sector and industry players that have contributed to the recovery process.

Speaking at the event, Moses Anim, deputy minister of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, pledged to adequately support local fish farmers in order to boost fish production in the country. This, the minister says is aimed at stopping the importation of fish into the country which buys about 50 per cent of its fish for its consumption from outside countries.

The country now aims to increase its fish farming to 200,000 tonnes by the year 2027 from over 89000 tonnes as of 2021 which is about 136 per cent increase. About 25 per cent of this will be targeted from commercially farmed fish from 14 per cent in 2021. The West African nation also projects 50 per cent improvement in the performance of farmed fish by 2027.

Aquaculture in Ghana is one of the businesses that are currently limping as a result of the challenges of post-covid pandemic. As a result, many fish farmers went down and never came up again while others that survived are struggling with high costs of running business mainly very high feed prices.

Jacob Doe Adzikah, CEO of Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana, says there is low investment in fish farming in the country because of difficulty in accessing funding from financial institutions and insurance firms.

“We need to bring financial institutions and insurance companies closer to the industry and then they will understand how it looks like, opportunities available and how the industry can have assets to attract funding and grow” Adzikah says.

However, authorities say in spite of the turbulence of the sector and industry, key players are fighting hard to ensure its full recovery.

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