April 30, 2018
Ghana’s Seafood Industry in a Steady Growth – Visap
Visap Seafoods Company, a fully-owned Ghanaian fish processing company based in Afienya of the Greater Accra Region, has said a lot more fish are left, which could be tapped into, for feeding Ghanaian populace and for export.
Speaking exclusively to Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), on the sidelines of migrating Visap, like all other registered Ghanaian export firms, onto the Buyers portal of the GEPA Market Hub, Madam Vida Sarpong, CEO of Visap Seafood Company, said seafood processors such as her outfit, can double production capacities twice every year, if the sector is supported with buyers and markets outside the country.
Mrs Sarpong indicated that, Visap goes as far as to Mauritania to buy fresh seafood and other fishes, for processing, which feeds hotels, restaurants and domestic Ghanaian homes.
She said, “With the stability in electricity, as a result of the government’s resolve at ending challenges of constant power supply, we have had stable boost in our business.”
She added, “For the past thirteen (13) months, I have experienced uninterrupted power supply to my cold store at Tema, this, has made my business better. …here at Afienya, I currently process more than I used to do some years ago.”
With many of its buyers spread across Europe, Visarp Company has participated in trade fairs in Italy, Nigeria, France and in UK.
When asked what happens if Visap doesn’t get orders from outside Ghana, Mrs Sarpong responded: “I sell to local buyers even here at Afienya. …domestic buyers within Ghana, patronise my processed seafoods, quite more than I get from outside Ghana.”
“In average, I make over twenty thousand Ghana Cedis of domestic sales, of my processed seafood and fish, daily.”
According to the CEO, orders from Europe aren’t much intensive, and that, the ‘Middle East’ have built a stronger customer base in Europe for seafood, this according to Mrs Sarpong, is owing to mechanism adopted by governments in ‘Middle East’, on trade with their European counterparts.
To this end, Visap CEO believes that, if government, through the agriculture, trade, business and aquaculture ministries, puts attention to improving seafood trade agreements with markets in Europe, exports of processed seafood, from Ghana to Europe and others continents, will improve drastically.
She commended Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), for helping her participate in many business meetings, and GEPA, for helping her get both local and international buyers. She said, these two agencies of the ministry of trade and industry have been of immense contribution to the growth of her business, and the country’s seafood industry as a whole. “For instance, AGI paid all expenses in one of my trip to a trade fair in Italy, this, I am forever grateful to AGI.” She said.
According to Mrs Vida Sarpong, Visap Seafood Company has evolved from being a table top family business to its current status. It employs over forty (40) workers on the average, each day and ten (10) permanent staff at the Afienya processing unit.
Crustaceans, fish molluscs and other classes of fish are processed and frozen, smoked, canned, dried or salted accordingly, to meet local and international standards at every time, while waiting for delivery.
Visap uses Halal-certified slaughter machines, gutting machines, scaling machines, filleting machines, deboning machines, skinning machines, curing and smoking machines in dressing fresh seafoods and other fishes for processing.
The company buys fresh seafoods and various kinds of fish from Axim and other communities within Western, Central, Greater Accra and Volta Regions of Ghana to feed its processing plants in Afienya. In the scarcity of fresh fish within Ghana, Visap buys from Mauritania, Morocco and other countries within the subregion, for processing and for onwards sales within Ghana, as well as for export.