The aftermath of the recent flood caused by the spilling of excess water from the Akosombo hydro dam has led to a surge in the price of gutted fresh tilapia, a Ghana News Agency (GNA) investigation revealed.
The calamity has disrupted tilapia farms, prompting a ripple effect in the pricing along the value chain.
Popular tilapia grilled joints in Accra, including Osu, North Kanashie, Nungua, Lapaz, and East Legon, have witnessed an approximate 100% increase in prices across all sizes. At Osu, a table size tilapia now sells for GH₵140.00, up from GH₵70.00 post-floods.
Explaining the spike in prices, Daavi, a caretaker at the Osu joint, attributed it to decreased supply, resulting in limited and more expensive stock.
She noted a shift in consumer behavior: “Now, two people buy one fish and share compared to months before where they would buy two fishes.”
Farms at Asutsuare, along the Lake in the Eastern Region, are selling a 50-kilogram bag of medium-sized tilapia for GH₵2,150.
The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana reported a price increase at the farm gate, from GH₵31.00 to GH₵41.00 per kilogram after the spillage.
Mr. Jacob Adzikah, CEO of the Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana, projected a potential further increase in prices and disclosed that fish farmers around the Volta Lake suffered losses amounting to GH₵58 million due to the spillage.
He appealed to state agencies, especially the Fisheries Commission, to provide support to affected fish farmers.
Highlighting a concerning lack of aquaculture insurance among affected farmers, Mr. Adzikah emphasized its importance for sector sustainability.
Some farms, such as China Fujian Fishing Limited, are reconstructing fish cages, while others like Maleka Farms are undertaking repair works.
Ms. Helina S. Dodd, a Principal Programme Officer at EPA-NRA, revealed discussions with farm owners and plans to address challenges, including dealing with illegal fish farm operators.
The Akosombo Dam's spillage, causing flooding in low-lying communities, has significantly affected the aquaculture industry, prompting stakeholders to call for collective support and interventions to ensure its recovery.