PRELUDE
The world undetectablyreached an unprecedented milestone in the evolution of the human diet in 2011. For the first time in contemporaryhistory, the world farmed fish production topped beef production. The cleftwidened in 2012, with output from fish farmingalso called aquaculturereaching a record 66 million tons, compared with production of beef at 63 million tons. And 2013 may well be the first year that people eat more fish raised on farms than caught in the wild. More than just a crossing of lines, these trends illustrate the latest stage in a historic shift in food production, a shift that at its core is a story of natural frontiers.

Nevertheless, there are folksthat make use of the Volta Lake to generateto meet the huge fishdebit, howeverthe breachis still massiveand there is a question of whose mediationwill turn thisunique venture into reality for Ghanaians to see the golden opportunity.

Ghana has ideal conditions for prime tilapia farming and other aquacultureactivities. In previous times the population of some regions of the country relied heavily on fishing for their sustenance, but such natural fishing potential has largely disappeared due to changes in the ecological status from damming of the Volta River.

The changes from this alteration in the natural water flow have drastically changed the native flora and fauna of the Volta drainage, leading to reduction in many commercially valuable species of aquatic life. A large portion of the population who previously depended on fishery for their livelihood is now left without employment, or is forced to relocate to other districts and pursue other occupations. The major infrastructure improvements due to the construction of the dams has elevated the status of life for many in West Africa, while simultaneously presenting a challenge to the traditional livelihoods of many other inhabitants.

However, the main components constituting a major fishery potential still exist in Ghana today: the climate is ideal for the cultivation of Tilapia and many other species, the water quantity and quality is outstanding, the labor force is abundant and hardworking and the country already contains adequate agricultural resources to supply a major fish feed industry. But there are two things that are lacking today to make such an aquaculture potential a reality: lack of readily available Tilapia fingerlings and lack of readily available, standardized and affordable pelleted fish feed.

At present time Tilapia fingerlings are inadequate supply and only available through limited sources. Often the price of a fingerling is 40% of the price of a table size fish and that is utterly expensive. This high fingerling cost and resulting low profit margin on the finished fish limits the farmer’s enthusiasm to get involved in farm fish production.

It also raises the probabilitiesof economic failure when a farmer does make the infrastructure and time investment to attempt fish farming. With such a low profit potential based on fingerling cost, there is not much room for error. With the full implementation of the S-HOINT Varied Aquatic System as proposed, Fingerlings will be reliably available in large quantity, year-round, at a cost between 2% and 7% of the finished fish price. This supply of affordable high quality fingerlings will change the dynamics of fish farming dramatically, whilst closing the gap of the fish deficit currently.

S-HOINT- Farming.