The Ghana Tuna Association says the country’s budgets and Economic policies will have to begin focusing on growing the Tuna industry if the sector is to thrive.
According to the Association, this year’s budget just as previous ones failed to address this concern.
The Association ahead of the budget presentation had indicated that it expected a detailed policy for the fisheries sector from the government.
But in an interview with Citi Business News, Secretary of the Ghana Tuna Association, Richster Amarfio, indicated that moving forward a lot more engagement will be required to address the challenges with the sector.
“It looks more like the budget looks at how to maximize internally generated funds rather than how to support the industry, and we need a switch from that position of just generating revenue from the industry and look at how government can invest more in the Ghanaian to build the industry. Unfortunately, this budget has not looked at that. This budget has to look still at how to generate revenue from the industry, the budget has looked at how to enforce the laws and it also has to look at basically how to support the artisanal sector.”
He further stated that “The artisanal sector has largely not received much support in terms of budgetary support from the government. Its been always how the sector would contribute more to the government revenue generation program. So in short that is what the budget is. We probably need to do more engagement on budgeting for the fisheries sector. We need to develop capacity in how to budget for the fisheries sector to make the fisheries sector respond to the needs of the country”.
Tuna was among the top 10 products that contributed about $1.66 billion which is 57 percent of the total non-traditional export revenue in 2019.
Despite this, the association believes the government has to do more to improve the fortunes of the sector.