Small-scale aquaculture producers have emphasised the need to control and set guidelines for the pricing of products like tilapia and catfish.
They maintained that a pricing regime was required in the current context, when production costs were increasing rapidly, to regulate the actions of middlemen (intermediaries), who they claimed were making substantial profits at the expense of farmers.
They claimed that some of the middlemen bought aquaculture products at the farm gate for less than their production costs and then resold them to generate obscene profits.
Discussions at the start of a workshop for small-scale fish farmers in the aquaculture value chain at Peduase in the Eastern Region were dominated by the producers’ worries, which bordered on unfair pricing practises in the aquaculture business.
It is anticipated that the three-day course will increase the farmers’ capacity and competitiveness in the field of operational financial management.
Francis de Heer, the GAA’s national organiser, urged members to be united. “We have noticed that once the intermediaries realise the fish has already been brought out of the fish pond and, therefore, cannot be sent back because the fish will die, they start dictating the prices, which the farmer has no option but accept,” he said.
He said the GAA would now adopt the Nigerian approach, where farmers determined the prices of their produce.
The 15 participants are from the Ashanti, Eastern and Volta regions.
The workshop is being organised by the Ghana Aquaculture Association (GAA), in partnership with the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Programme and the Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana (CAG).