Nigeria looks to increase domestic fish production
Tribune.com.ng - Jan 14th 2014, 07:37
Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said the Federal Government is putting in place policies and programmes to stimulate and stabilise fish production in the country, saying spending huge resources on fish importation is unacceptable to a country with potential and resources capable of producing fish that could feed the world.
FG making efforts to stabilise fish production, marketing - Minister
This was disclosed in a statement by his media aide, Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, who said through the aquaculture value chain, a total number of nine states and the Abuja had benefitted so far from input supply and 840 fish farmers per state were supplied with 500 fish juveniles free farmer and five bags of fish feed at 50 per cent cost price/fish farmer.
“Under the Artisanal GES, fishermen receive fishing nets, sinkers, ropes and insulated ice boxes for fish preservation, to arrest post-harvest losses.
“The ministry has commenced the process of registration of all artisanal fishing crafts and boats in order to ensure that artisanal sector, which has over the years contributed 80 to 85 per cent of the total fish production in the country, are well organised and duly recognised.
“The national registration exercise, which is happening for the very first time in the history of the country, is intended primarily to give an estimate of the fishing efforts in our waters, and effective management and security of the fishing environment. It is also to give the operators an identity beyond the shores of Nigeria, especially when fishing in coastal waters shared with neighbouring countries, accord them due recognition and ensure the fishing canoes of artisanal fishermen in the country are not used for sea robbery or piracy,” the statement said.
The efforts, Oyeleye said, were to ensure maximum utilisation of the resources of that sector while adequately taking care of the operators through the provision of modern landing sites under the Fisheries Resources Monitoring Control and Surveillance programme, in partnership with donors and development partners.
As part of efforts on commercialisation of Tilapia production and other fish species, he added, the ministry was taking bold steps at diversifying the fisheries sub-sector from a mainly mono-culture of catfish to that involving other fish species and to significantly improve upon the value chain with a view to ensuring that producers and processors have significant value for their efforts.
“Other value chains being developed by the ministry include the Tilapia value Chain, Lates niloticus value chain and the shrimp value chain. The ministry is at an advanced stage of negotiation with core investors for the establishment of large scale Tilapia farms in different locations of the country.
“The aquaculture Fish Farm Estate Development Programme, which was embarked upon as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme to encourage private developers, cooperative societies, and interested individuals to invest in fish farming on a large and medium scale, has largely contributed to the fish production.
“At the inception of the programme, some of the laudable objectives include to increase domestic production by at least 80,000 metric tonnes annually, to generate employment of 35,000 Nigerians through fish farming annually and reducing the gap between fish demand and supply by making farmed fish available to Nigerians for local consumption at affordable cost and for export,” Oyeleye added.
According to him, the entire concept of the Fish Farm Estates was being reviewed to achieve the desire under ATA, and that the ministry was promoting the commercialisation of fish production under the Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs).
“Four out of the 14 SCPZs have fisheries as one of the anchor crops. The SCPZs are to address the constraints of the agro-processing industry and drive social and economic impact, offer a superior operating environment for downstream players, while creating a new platform for private sector investment in agriculture.
“It will also take an integrated value chain approach to address sector constraints, including market linkages, coordinated support, and create a structured mechanism for engaging rural youths,” the statement said.
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