The Ghana Tuna Association says it expects a detailed policy for the fisheries sector from the government ahead of the 2021 budget presentation on Friday, March 12, 2021.
According to the association, the sector has not been given the required attention despite being a major non-traditional export earner for the country.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Secretary of the Ghana Tuna Association, Richster Amarfio indicated that government will have to show more commitment to preserving the ailing sector.
“Our expectations for the budget had always been that the Fisheries Ministry may want to take more money from us to support their budget because they have always overly relied on their internally generated funds which normally comes from our fishing license fees, from our fish export levy, and from the import duties that they collect. As an industry, we have not been factored so much into the budget but part of it is as a result of this lack of clear policies and lack of vision.”
He added that the government will also have to relook its priorities in the sector if it is indeed committed to sustaining the fisheries industry.
“The agenda had always been how do we subsidize premix fuel, how do we supply outboard motors to fishermen and sometimes how do we supply fishing inputs like nets and all that are not the issues. We need to go beyond those issues because those issues are not productive issues.”
Tuna was among the top 10 products that contributed about $1.66bn which is 57 per cent of the total non-traditional export revenue in 2019.
The 2021 budget presentation will be held in Parliament on the 12th of March.
It will be presented by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as the Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta still recovering from COVID-19 complications.