According to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the price of gutted fresh tilapia has risen months after the flood caused by the discharge of surplus water from the Akosombo hydro project in the Eastern Region.
The leakage has resulted in the devastation of tilapia farms and consequent price rises by value chain operators involved in the tilapia farm-to-fork process.
Popular fish grilled eateries in Accra’s Osu, North Kanashie, Nungua, Lapaz, and East Legon have seen a 100% spike in costs for all sizes of tilapia.
A table-sized tilapia, for example, is now GHS 140.00 at the Osu restaurant, up from GHS 70.00 before the floods.
“…Now, two people buy one fish and share compared to months before where they would buy two fishes.”
When asked about the price increase, Daavi, the caretaker of the Osu joint, indicated a drop in supply, which resulted in restricted stock and increased prices.
According to GNA investigations, farms in Asutsuare, a town near the lake in the Eastern Region, offer 50 kilograms (kg) of medium-sized tilapia for GHS 2,150.
According to Jacob Adzikah, CEO of the Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana, study found that following the leakage from the Akosombo hydro project, the price per kilogram of tilapia at the farm gate climbed from GHS 31.00 to GHS 41.00.
The Chamber of Aquaculture’s research team observed a modest price rise of roughly GHS 10.00 at the farm gate. Adzikah predicted that the commodity’s price will rise more in the following days as a result of this trend. Due to the leakage, fish producers near the Volta Lake allegedly lost fish supplies worth GHS 58 million.
Adzikah urged state institutions, particularly the Fisheries Commission, to assist impacted fish producers, as none had purchased aquaculture insurance. An estimated 35,857 people were displaced by the flood.
“There are limited aquaculture insurance products in the sector, but many fish farms do not subscribe because they do not appreciate the importance of aquaculture insurance,” Mr Adzikah stated.
“This is a huge concern because if farms appreciate the importance of aquaculture insurance and conforming to best biological practice, it will ensure sustainability in the sector,” he added.
After losing thousands of fish stocks, several fish farms, notably China Fujian Fishing Limited, are rebuilding fish cages. Maleka Farms is also repairing equipment and planning to expand operations.
The Natural Resource Department of the Environmental Protection Agency performed an on-site exercise to analyze the impact of the recent floods on aquaculture farms in Akuse and Asutsuare.
The fact-finding expedition sought to determine the degree of infrastructure damage and loss of livelihood, as well as to give suggestions.
According to preliminary findings, several farms suffered substantial infrastructural damage, and thousands of fish were lost or escaped during the October floods triggered by the Akosombo Dam leakage.