Tilapia shortage looms as largest producers face relocation challenges over Tema-Mpakadan railway project

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The management of Tropo Fish Farm, producers of Volta Catch Tilapia, is demanding government pays their compensation and gives them ample time to relocate.

They describe the current invasion on their land by the railway contractors as not in good faith.

The construction of the the Tema-Mpakadan railway line has affected their fish farm business.

Tropo Farms have existed at Mpakadan in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region since 1997.

They are the largest producer of tilapia in the country, contributing about 40 percent to fish stock in the country.

As the second largest in sub-Sahara Africa, they produce about 200 tonnes of fish weekly and employ about 800 people around their operational areas and the supply chain.

However, the construction of the Tema-Mpakadan railway line has affected their operational site at Mpakadan.

Operations Director Andrews Zwaga says issues surrounding relocation and compensation have not been fairly dealt with.

“For the contractors to invade our land when the issue has not been dealt with is sad. We need about six months to relocate,” he said.

“Relocating means more expenditure and loss of revenue for some time. Government should pay us our compensation too.”

He made a case that the country’s fish stock demand cannot be met if their business is crippled by the current impasse.

“We produce 40 percent of the Tilapia market share and employ over 800 along the supply chain. Not being in business means a threat to food security and loss of jobs to locals especially.”

The recent invasion on the fish farm premises by AFCON, contractors of the railway, is causing panic among workers already.

“We fear losing our job,” a worker said. “We plead with government to step in.”

Another added, “My family feeds from the proceeds I make here. I am currently pregnant, a lay-off means crises for my family.”

Head of Corporate Affairs Francis Abudu Zimmaleh demands that the Railway Ministry and the Fisheries Ministry resolve the matter amicably.

“It is very sad the way the state and its agencies are dealing with us. It is just unfair for investment and investors.”

The 97.6 kilometer Tema-Mpakadan railway under construction is part of the 1,000 kilometer Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Intercity project expected to link Ghana from Tema to Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Ghana

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