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This baseline survey was conducted in June 2016 to understand the current level of income earned by the fish farmers in Western Region, employees or farm hands, productivity, motivation to go into fish farming, access to input, existing market channels, support services for fish farming and the challenges of fish farming in Western region among others. This is aimed at establishing the current state of fish farming operations in Western Region of Ghana as a basis for establishing attributable changes to WRCF intervention in the life of the project beneficiaries.

Improving economic conditions and securing sustainable livelihoods

One of the objectives of Western Region Coastal Foundation is to improve socio economic conditions of the residents of the six coastal districts through effective investment in sustainable livelihood interventions and market system development. After a rigorous economic assessment conducted in 2015, five value chains, including Aquaculture were selected as intervention areas with the potential to increase income and jobs for the people of the six coastal districts.

WRCF worked with 4 fish farmers' associations in Ghana's Western Region to improve business practices and increase earnings.

Improving Auqaculture in Ghana's Western Region

WRCF’s aquaculture intervention in the coastal districts aims to significantly boost productivity of low-income fish farmers to meet growing demand for fresh fish by means of sustained access to: (i) quality inputs (feed, fingerlings); (ii) know how on best pond/business management practices; and, (iii) diversified markets for farmed fresh fish (catfish and tilapia).

This intervention aims to make the coastal districts aquaculture industry a much more attractive investment by local farmers and a more robust market for aquaculture inputs/outputs despite its current low level of production, scattered and distant locations from markets. WRCF will implement this intervention in two stages over a period of 18 – 24 months:

In this first stage WRCF will support demonstration ponds in selected coastal communities as a mechanism to improve the knowledge of pond farmers in best pond/business management practices and as a platform to promote business relationships between pond farmers, their prospective suppliers of inputs and services and buyers of produce.

With incentives aligned and capacities of all value chain players strengthened, WRCF will further encourage other key market actors – new entrants into fish farming, financial institutions, local service providers (pond construction, security, harvesting), educational institutions, the media and local/regional government – to participate directly in advancing the growth of the Western Region aquaculture industry in line with their unique interests and capacity.

In practice, WRCF will play the role of bringing together key private, public and civil society actors in finding win/win relationships to enhance economic growth opportunities for reducing poverty and improving livelihoods.