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26.01.2005 General News

Stakeholders meeting to tackle problems in fishing industry

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Accra, Jan. 26, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister-Designate for Fisheries, on Wednesday said a stakeholders meeting would be held to address problems associated with the distribution of pre-mix fuel. She said an action plan would be developed to tackle problems in the fishing industry relating to the decline in catches, the few landing sites, limited storage facilities and the cost of fishing inputs. Mrs Asmah said these when she took her turn to answer questions from the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

She said the fishing industry as compared to the crop sector, as a sub-sector of the economy, had not been given the proper attention it deserved.

On the problem of poverty associated with some fisher-folks because of the seasonal nature of their occupation, the Minister-Designate said the social structures of the industry would be looked at.

According to her, she would put in place a system to offer skills training, such as carpentry, to young fisher folk to enable them fall on something during the lean fishing season.

Answering some questions related to her time as Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Mrs Asmah, said it was a cabinet decision to hold on for some time on the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill to enable every Ghanaian to make an input on the debate, especially on the thorny issues of marital rape.

She said there were serious problems associated with the criminalisation of marital issues and therefore there was the need to tread softly by seeking the opinion of all to get the bill ready. According to her, there could be a backlash of high divorce rates, among others.

She said some arrangements were being made to train some 2,500 counsellors to handle matters arising from the passage of the Bill. On the politicisation of the women's development fund and allegations that it was for only NPP members, the Minister-Designate said it was unfortunate if the allegations were true. She said steps would be taken to address problems of access to these funds to enable all women to enjoy it.

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