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Constraints of fish farming in Ghana

Constraints of fish farming are considered as any factor or subsystem that works as a bottleneck
to restrict the fish farmers from achieving their potentials (BD, 2010).
Initially, some of the constraints were poor site selection, bad pond designing and construction,
inefficient pond management, shortages of fingerlings, lack of fertilizers, feeds, lack of
harvesting strategies, marketing and processing (Prein and Ofori, 1996). Owusu et al. (1999)
highlighted the major constraints of Ghanaian fish farmers as: inadequate extension service, lack
of fish seeds, inadequate manufactured feeds, lack of capital for expansion and lack of
biotechnical information. Furthermore, Vincke M.M.J and Awity L.K.A selected 24 farms where
a research was conducted on Description and Assessment of Fish Farms in Ghana (FAO, 1990a).
In the findings, the constraints were: lack of credit for pond construction, lack of technical
information, high cost of equipment, lack of fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus and
Heterobranchus bidosalis, poaching by villagers and lack of nets for harvesting (FAO, 1990a).
As regard to the pond harvesting, farmers faced additional costs on hiring beach seine nets from
the Department of Fisheries at c 3,000 per day (FAO, 1990a). Furthermore, those who use
machines (bulldozer) for pond construction, pay at a daily rate of c. 30,000 per day (FAO,
1990a). It is also reported by FAO (2000, 2009) that majority of fish farmers depend on the water
seepages to fill their ponds which become a challenge for the drying of these ponds. On the
contrary, few farmers have ponds that do not hold water due to serious seepages (FAO, 1990a).
Furthermore, in certain areas of Ghana; during the rainy season, the ponds and rice fields are
sometimes flooded for periods of 2 to 3 days and even up to about a month (FAO, 1990a).
Other challenges explained that, tilapia fish seeds are often obtained from less desirable sources
such as fish production ponds of other farmers that have not been drained for several years and
other common sources are reservoirs and rivers (FAO, 2000, 2009). Normally, these fingerlings
are of very poor quality because most of them are stunted due to their long stay in the ponds
while chosen as seeds for culture. Biologically, fish caught as fingerlings from rivers and
reservoirs are either mature or of poor genetic quality and health or are undesirable species
(FAO, 2000, 2009).
It is also reported that the flow of information between some of the farmers and the researchers
becomes difficult because these farmers cannot remember the stocking densities, feeding rates
and the days of certain operations on the farm (FAO. 1990a).