Madam Hanny Sherry Ayittey, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has said one million fishermen would be insured under the second phase of the Fishermen’s Life Insurance Scheme.
She said the Government would pay the premiums for the beneficiaries and urged fishermen across the country to register so that they could receive support that would cushion them for life in the event of any eventuality.
Madam Ayittey gave the advice at the inauguration of a new cold store, which would help prevent post-harvest losses, especially during the bumper season and boost the fishing business in New Takoradi.
The Minister said the facilities would also create jobs, saying, “Twenty refrigerator repairers from the country’s polytechnics would soon be employed in those facilities”.
She said the government secured a seven million-Euro loan facility from the Spanish Government for the construction of the six cold stores.
Other beneficiary communities are Half-Assini, Kromantse, Nyanyano, Shama and Prampram.
Madam Ayittey said various management committees had been constituted to manage and maintain the facilities in order to prolong their life span.
She, therefore, tasked the managers of the facilities to work hard in order to pay back the loan so that the Government could extend it to other coastal communities.
The cold stores would produce commercial iced blocks, which could last between four and five days, therefore, fishermen embarking on fishing expeditions could purchase them to preserve their catch on the high seas.
She said that the National Democratic Congress Administration had supported the fishing industry with various social interventions, including the subsidisation of outboard motors to fishermen.
She urged them to reciprocate the gesture by renewing its mandate on the December 7 Elections.
Mr. Alfred Ekow Gyan, the Deputy Western Regional Minister, said the Government had undertaken numerous infrastructural developments across the country including, roads, health, and educational facilities, as well as connecting many communities onto the national electricity grid, provided potable water to deprived communities and revamped the Western Railway lines.
Osahen Katakyie Busumakora III, the Chief of Takoradi, who chaired the function, lauded the Government for the initiative, and urged the management of the facility to be accountable and transparent with the revenues accruing from the facility so that other coastal communities would benefit.