Fish is important in the diet of millions of Ghanaians supplying protein and micronutrients. Ghanaians have developed taste preferences for the consumption of Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia), thereby booming the tilapia aquaculture industry. This paper looks comprehensively at the value chain of the tilapia aquaculture sector in Ghana to identify particular areas of intervention and development opportunities in achieving food security and nutrition needs, safety, quality and trade benefits. Mixed methods (including stakeholders’ workshop, interviews and document analysis from official sources) were employed in collecting data between January and December 2014. The analysis indicates that farmed tilapia products are currently not exported but locally consumed. In 2012, approximately 28 000 t of tilapia were supplied to the local market. The bulk of the supply came from cage culture (85%) with the remaining coming from ponds and dugouts. About 98% of tilapia coming from aquaculture is supplied directly to the local markets, whilst 2% is family consumed (subsistence). The marketing channel involves farmers selling to wholesalers/retailers and to consumers/restaurants in nearby villages or secondary towns. The processing technology is generally low (mainly sun drying, small size smokers). Currently, due to the growing middle-class Ghanaians, high domestic demand for fish and high levels of undernutrition among many poor Ghanaians, there is a good and readily available market for all sizes of tilapia produced locally. However, farmed tilapia has the potential for export to the international markets if it is processed as smoked and salted. To achieve this, there is the need to develop a practical guide for aquaculture exporters by the relevant stakeholders, strengthen capacity building of public institutions to deal with the export of aquaculture products and train more aquaculture personnel, and collate proper documentation of aquaculture products.
- farmed tilapia
- value chain