07.06.2005 Business & Finance

Provision of cold stores should be in private hands

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Accra, June 7, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, on Tuesday said the provision of cold storage facilities must be regarded as a private sector investment venture. She said the Ministry was in the process of holding discussions with the Ministry of Private Sector Development with a view to attracting investors into the cold storage business at Dixcove in the Ahanta West Constituency and other areas, which need such facilities. Mrs Asmah was responding to a question in Parliament as to what the Ministry could do to assist in the provision of cold storage facilities at the fishing town of Dixcove to take care of bumper catch and help reduce post harvest losses.

The Minister said there was a farmer-based organisation development fund that could be sourced by fishermen groups in Dixcove to procure their own cold store.

"An individual entrepreneur wishing to establish a cold store in Dixcove can also submit a proposal for the establishment of cold store and blast freezer facilities at Dixcove to the Ministry for consideration for funding under the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support being provided by the Canadian International Development Agency."

In answer to another question, the Minister said Dixcove would be considered in future for the development of landing site over there including other areas.

She said currently, the Ministry has plans to improve fish landing sites for safe landing of canoes along the marine coast and the shoreline of the Volta Lake.

The Minister said this in answer to a question on whether the Ministry would consider developing landing sites at Dixcove. Mrs Asmah said as a first phase, six sites along the Volta Lake have been identified for feasibility studies to design, cost and construct landing sites with support from multi-donor beginning this year. "These sites were selected based on canoes and fishermen numbers as well as volumes of fish landed at these sites."

She said funds were being sought to engage a consultant to study and submit a feasibility report on the project. "Currently, my Ministry is in the process of the selection of the consultant and to commission the best firm by September 2005 for the work." "Mr Speaker, Dixcove will be considered during the second phase of this programme, when additional sites will be developed." 7-June-05

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