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08.04.2006 Business & Finance

Construction cold stores soon


Takoradi, April 8, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, on Saturday said her Ministry would soon sign a contract with a Spanish Company to construct six cold storage facilities in the country, under a Euro-7-million grant from the Spanish Government.

The cold stores would be sited at New Takoradi, Shama, Moree, Senya Breko, Teshie and Nyanyano, she told the press at an executive committee meeting of the Takoradi Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Takoradi.

Mrs Asmah said the cold stores would be equipped with ice making plants, blast freezers and storage facilities.

She said the construction of the cold stores formed part of the drive of her Ministry to revamp the fisheries sector through the provision of necessary equipment and vessels.

Mrs Asmah said the Ministry early this year ordered 500 outboard motors and had so far distributed 200 of them to fishermen. She said about 10 per cent of the population was engaged in fishing and the sector contributed about three per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but could be increased to 10 per cent. Mrs Asmah said the GRATIS Foundation would be constructing 14 fish smoking facilities throughout the country under a first phase of a programme and her Ministry would support the programme by offering micro credit to fishmongers to boost their businesses.

She said six landing sites and fishing harbours have been earmarked for construction, during the year and a contract has been signed with a Dutch company to do feasibility studies and designing of the sites.

The landing sites would be constructed at Axim, Elimina, James Town, Dzemani, Abotoase and Mumford, Mrs Asmah said, adding that, the cost of the project would be ascertained after the feasibility studies. She said her Ministry intended to establish a fishing school at Mumford in the Central Region to young fishermen.