Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 July 2022:
Despite the challenges posed by the lack of infrastructure and support services, fish farming in Sierra Leone has the potential to provide the population with a sustainable source of protein, improve livelihoods and generate export earnings, according to a new overview study of the sector.
Published last week, Aquaculture in Sierra Leone is based on a pre-feasibility study, commissioned by Invest Salone, the UK government-funded private sector development initiative.
Aquaculture is reported to be the fastest growing food-producing sector globally. It now accounts for 50 percent of the world’s fish consumption, and while Asia will continue to dominate production, predictions suggest that the greatest growth will come from Africa.
This offers opportunities for Sierra Leone, where the sector is in its infancy, but where the natural resources – water and land – needed to sustain the industry, are readily available.
Previous attempts to develop aquaculture in Sierra Leone have largely focused on building public sector infrastructure to support small producers. The Aquaculture in Sierra Leone study recommends a new approach: “Pioneer investment is needed to overcome the existing challenges for inputs, staffing and energy – and establish a fully commercial tilapia [a type of fish] aquaculture venture. This would help to demonstrate viability and would encourage others to invest.”
Of the various fish species, the analysis indicates that tilapia and/or catfish are the best choices. Tilapia remains the second largest globally produced fish, however demand for African catfish is growing rapidly, particularly in Africa.
Invest Salone consultant, Mark Thomas, concludes: “The increasing demand for fish both locally and internationally, favourable conditions for fish farming and the ready availability of land, water and labour mean that fish farming in Sierra Leone offers real opportunities for investors who can see past the challenges.”
Fish stocks, Daimonds , iron ore ,topical rainforest , long sandy Carribean style beaches ,only better in terms of what our country can offer to potential investors both in the tourism industry, with it long Atlantic Coast line and deep water commercial fishing for long term returns to their investment . The opportunities our country has to offer in all of the above is unlimited .All we need is sound government economic policies in terms of encouraging investments in partnership with the private sector for our country and it’s people to leapfrog to the 21st century global economy and realise it full potential both in sustainable development and unlimited economic growth that will help to create jobs to tackle the chronic disease of youth unemployment our country have experienced in the last few decades. The key to it all is education and investing in modern technology and encouraging behemoth like Facebook, Twitter and Google, BMW and many more large corporations that see Africa as the future for technological innovation and Sierra Leone seen as the Gatekeepers to Africa .
Twitter choosing Ghana for their headquarters in the West African region says a lot about the political leaders in Ghana .One huge advantage we have is the use of the English language as one of the official languages in the country .The potential to grow our country’s economy is unlimited. The human and natural resources that are available and plentiful is always there with us. We have the climate , and geographically located and uniquely position as the gateway to the West African subregion .The natural harbour at the Queen Elizabeth Quay is a testament and a God given natural living structure of what is possible for large commercial ships docking in Freetown not Free port in Monrovia or Acrra Ghana .
Naturally God the creator has given us everything to help us transform our country to a middle income country, or even better , to become the Hong Kong or the Singapore of West Africa ,what we lack in Sierra Leone is political leaders that can see beyond their noses and take full advantage of what our country has to offer that is hidden in plain sight so these hidden treasures are put into good use for the good of the many not the few.