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Aquaculture: Stakeholders gather as FISON, PESCAO high profile conference holds in Lagos

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The EU-funded programme for improved regional fisheries governance in West Africa (PESCAO) will help Nigeria in having easy access to international funds in the aquaculture sub-sector and enhancing regulation, an official has said.

The Team Lead of PESCAO, Mr Amadou Tall, spoke with newsmen during the Joint Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) and PESCAO High Profile Conference of Stakeholders held on Monday in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the conference focused on the set up of West Africa Non-State Actors for Fisheries and Aquaculture (WANSAFA) platform in Nigeria.

It had the theme: ‘Potentials of Non-State Actors in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in West Africa’.

Tall said: “Today’s conference is to set up a national Non-State Actors platform for Nigeria to make sure that they can have one voice and get access to opportunities offered by our programme and WANSAFA’’.

According to him, this is a unique platform to ECOWAS and can help to have work plan activities based on the needs of the region, which Nigeria can benefit from.

“Regulation challenges are not specific to Nigeria, it is the same all over the world. The thing is, the small scale fisheries sector in the developing countries do not have enough means; they are highly illiterate, they have a lot of difficulties, so we have to help them organise.

“But it is the bottom-to-top approach; we listen to them, discuss what we have as experiences and if they like what we give them, they take it. After all, WANSAFA is set up by fisher folks themselves.

“Now we are coming to different countries to make sure that they have a national platform, so, one single authority that will speak with the federal department of fisheries, ECOWAS in the different countries,” he said.

He said that money does not solve all problems, but the people should be organized and trained on rules and rights, to give the sector a formidable voice in the long term.

The President of FISON, Dr Lukman Agbabiaka, said that it was embarrassing that Nigeria was lacking in the area of regulations in the fisheries sub-sector, which made the conference apt at this time.

Agbabiaka said it was observed that sometimes, fisherman A would approach a particular body for a grant and fisherman B would approach the same body for the same grant.

“We have a lot of organisations, but unfortunately, these organisations do not know themselves, which is an embarrassment to Nigeria when it comes to applying for assistance.

“What somebody has been given grant for in Epe, somebody in that same Epe is asking for similar grant for; it is embarrassing.

“If for instance we have been meeting and rubbing minds together, if something has been given to Mr A, Mr B will know and not ask for the same thing from the same person.

“That is why we are thinking we should stay together and share common knowledge and agenda so that we will come up with a document.

“Usually, there are instruments that guide implementation. For instance, before you can do anything in West Africa, there are people who will determine the people than can have access to what,’’ he said.

Agbabiaka said there were also discussions on the gender factor in fisheries and aquaculture.

‘’Just like the meeting we had in Lome where that was talked about, I come from Nigeria and I know the challenges women face while smoking fish.

“There are many challenges women face in the riverine areas; women are vulnerable because of low capacity, especially funding.

“In such cases, we can fashion out an alternative source of livelihood, because it is not compulsory that every woman in the riverine area must go into fish trade.

“This has been one of our challenges. When I came on board, I saw the need and decided to galvanize our people; sometime ago we had a consultative and sensitization programme and this is the outcome of that event,’’ he said.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanaso said that artisanal fishermen contributed over 90 per cent of the fish Nigerians consumed and they were highly unregulated.

Nanaso, represented by the Deputy Director of Fisheries, Mrs Bola Kupolati, said there was need to formalize a body that would assist government in the area of capacity building and financing artisanal fishermen.

“One of the reasons for this conference is to bring together non-state actors in the fisheries sub-sector for example we have the state actor and none state actor, who are the fisher folks, NGOs among others.

“The reason for this conference is for them to formalize this and assist in the area of capacity building, finance, networking, and when formalized, will assist government in ensuring that there are contributions for policy making in the fisheries sub-sector to regulate all sections of fisheries business’’, he said.

According to him, this will assist government to regulate the body of artisanal fishermen.

NAN reports that the joint conference had a representative from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other stakeholders in the sector in attendance. (NAN)

ITM/SOA

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

 

Agriculture

Ogun govt. partners private aquaculture firm to enhance food security

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The Ogun government says arrangements have been concluded to partner with a fishery firm, Premium Aquaculture Ltd. to promote fish  value chain and enhance food security in the state.

Dr Adeola Odedina, the Commissioner for Agriculture, said the partnership with the firm, being one of the largest Tilapia fish farms in the country, would also help to generate employment for youths, apart from boosting food security.

Odedina disclosed this when he led a team from the ministry to the aquaculture farm at Oyan Dam under Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority on Wednesday.

He said that the partnership was necessitated by the Ogun State COVID-19 response plan to support food production and processing locations across the state.

The commissioner said that the aquaculture firms had the potential for food value chain opportunity that would train young people.

He said that government would provide necessary support for the identified firms to boost its food security agenda and meet the envisaged food crisis after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the envisaged food crisis, what we are doing in Ogun state is that we have an approved Agricultural COVID-19 Response Plan and prime among them is to visit to all food production and processing locations.

“So that the state will continue to provide support and our revised agenda on COVID-19 will run smoothly, food security will go on as well as our agenda for the youths,” Odedina said.

He, however expressed the government’s readiness to support small holder farmers to sustain their market, adding that they would be taught on best aquaculture practices.

He said that the support would help to achieve the food security agenda and continue to maintain the state government’s food security programme irrespective of the current global challenge.

Odedina said that since the beginning of lockdown, government had been visiting some food processing companies to see areas of partnership toward ensuring adequate food sufficiency.

He said that the Aquaculture Firm with a production capacity of 10 million tilapia fish would serve both the local and international markets as well as provide jobs for the youths.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been visiting food processing companies for possible areas of partnership.

“We are contributing our quota to food security and how much employment we can generate as they partner with us in training our young people,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Dotun Sorunke, said that the visit was to assess water assets that abound in the state and proffer ways of harnessing them and come out with innovative technology that would  benefit youth farmers in the state.

“We are going round to assess water and resources in Ogun state, so we can harness them. The companies here are using innovations and technology in aquaculture and we want our youths to key into it,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the firm, Mr Govinda Raju Siddagangaiah, disclosed that the farm has 200 metric tonnes production capacity, adding that it also produces frozen tilapia fish.

He, however, commended the team for the visit, promising to do more to meet envisaged food challenge in the postCOVID-19 era.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

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Agriculture

Agency woos youths in Anambra on aquaculture

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  Mr Emeka Iloghalu, the Managing Director, Anambra State Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency (FABDA), has called on unemployed youths to key into aquaculture.

Iloghalu made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Saturday.

According to him, aquaculture is a branch of agriculture and very lucrative business that can build up the state’s economy and boost its Gross Domestic Product if well harnessed.

He said that youths should key into the state’s initiative with a view to developing the value of fisheries and aquaculture and earn a livelihood from it.

Iloghalu said that 2020 would be very eventful for fisheries and aquaculture business in the state and encouraged unemployed youths to look at its direction.

He said that the state government had put machinery in place toward the development of fishery industry.

The managing director appealed to local and outside investors to tap into it.

Iloghalu said that ideas had been gathered on how to boost the fisheries and aquaculture business in the state, saying that everything was set to execute the plan.

“We are set to construct fish villages across the three senatorial districts with modern facilities and later replicate same in the 21 local government areas.

”This is job creation on its own,” he said.

Iloghalu said that the agency was working hard to attract local and foreign investors to invest in the fishery industry with a view to becoming a centre in aquaculture business.

He said that FABDA had created private sector initiative for fisheries and aquaculture lovers and had mandate to attract other persons to the initiative.

Iloghalu commended the state government for the support and encouragement to the agency, saying that the agency would do its best to make people have interest in fisheries and aquaculture business.

“We will try to build fishery academy where those that are willing to embark on fishery project will be enlightened,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi

 

 

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Agriculture

Sanwo-Olu urges investors to explore aquaculture value chain in Lagos

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called on investors to tap the potential in the aquaculture value chain to bridge the demand and supply gap of the state.

Sanwo-Olu stated this at the 2019 Lagos Seafood Festival on Sunday in Lagos.

He said that investment in aquaculture value chain would not only create jobs and contribute to poverty reduction but would also unleash opportunities for entrepreneurship.

The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that to attain the goal, the state government had initiated several projects in the agricultural space.

He identified sustainable development of tourism potentials in aquaculture and its value chain as a driver for economic growth in the state.

He said that increased production in aquaculture value chain would help attain food security objective, foreign exchange earnings from export and ultimately contribute to the growth of the state’s GDP.

According to him, bridging the demand and supply gap, which is estimated at 374,000 tonnes per annum and 155,262 tonnes per annum, respectively, was a huge and highly rewarding investment opportunity.

“I invite the business community to tap into and harness the fish value chain.

“We have established fish farm estates in lkorodu and Epe to ensure a geometrical increase in fish production, with the active participation of the private sector.

“The Ikorodu estate is fully subscribed and produces 10,000 tons of fish per annum, the Ketu Ereyun Epe estate will produce 11,000 metric tons of fish on completion of its first phase.

“All of these initiatives are aimed at bridging the demand and supply gap.

“This is a highly rewarding investment opportunity, which I invite the business community to tap into,’’ he said.

According to him, the state is endowed with natural landscape traversed by sea and lagoon waters, beautiful beaches and waterfronts.

“Twenty-two per cent of the land area in the state is covered with water and a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.

“These unique endowments give the state a comparative advantage in seafood and tourism business, which are yearning to be developed for the socio-economic transformation of the state.

“I urge you all to avail yourselves the opportunities presented by this gathering to network and initiate partnerships that will promote food security, create jobs and enhance livelihoods in the state,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said the celebration of the seafood festival would boost the development of the creative industry and promote the visibility of the state as a tourist destination.

“In accordance with the theme of this year’s festival, the rich seafood diversity of the state will be projected through the display of various fresh, processed and wide varieties of seafood-based dishes by our exhibitors.

“This is strengthened by the fact that fishing is the main occupation of the people living in the coastal zones,’’ the commissioner said.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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General news

Reps. make case for Osun aquaculture centre

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to upgrade the National Aquaculture Research and Development Institute, Oluponna, in Osun to meet current reality.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Urgent Matter of National Importance by Rep. Amobi Akintola (APC-Osun) at the plenary on Wednesday.

Earlier, Akintola said that in 1979, the Aquaculture Technology Transfer Centre was established by the Federal Government in 1979.

Akintola who represents Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Federal Constituency of Osun described the centre as one of the model fish farms in the then Operation Feed the Nation Programme.

The Rep. said that the centre was established on a total land area covering 15 hectares with eight hectares of water reservoir, five production and six nurseries of different sizes covering about four hectares.

He said that in 1989, the Italian Government supported the project by investing the sum of one million dollars for the construction of a large fish hatchery to house several round fiber glass tanks.

He said that the amount was to provide for 10 raceway fibre glass tanks and demonstration hatcheries for poultry and fish in the centre.

Akintola said that normal activities were going on at the center until 1992 when the centre’s activities started going down for no apparent reason.

He recalled that Mr Jim Miller, the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Technical Adviser, Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Project Evaluation in 2005, noted that the centre had been abandoned and remained moribund since 1992.

Akintola said that with the high level of fish importation of about 600,000 tonnes annually and the economic diversification policy to agriculture, mining and other non-oil revenue sources, it was important to revamp the centre.

“There is a need to revamp the moribund centre which could serve as high quality fish fingerling production and training center and help in creating employment in order to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the area,” he said.

The house, therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to come up with comprehensive plans for the revitalisation of the centre.

The legislators urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and other relevant agencies to carry out rehabilitation work on the access roads leading to the centre.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committees on Legislative Compliance, Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Works to ensure compliance.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan

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Agriculture

Lagos trains 955 in aquaculture to harness opportunities in agric value chain

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The Lagos State Government says it has trained 953 persons in aquaculture as a step towards upscaling fish production and to harness the economic opportunities in the agriculture value chain.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya made the disclosure at the closing ceremony of the 15th Annual Executive Weekend Training on Investment Opportunities in Fish Farming organised by the ministry.

Onasanya said that such programmes and projects had significantly increased fish production, created jobs and stimulated economic activities in the state.

He identified the programmes and projects to include fish farm estates development; fish cage culture system; capacity building programmes, agricultural value chains empowerment and artisanal fisheries development among others.

“Fish is a major source of protein that is low in cholesterol compared with beef, hence, its consumption is healthy and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a per capita consumption of 17kg of fish per annum.

“Lagos State with a population of 22 million people is structured to have a fish demand of 374,000 tons per annum as against the current fish production figure of 155,262 tons per annum,” he said in a statement by Mr Jide Lawal, Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the state Ministry of Agriculture and made available to the Nigeria News Agency

“The deficit in supply is being met through importation which gulps enormous foreign exchange which the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has estimated at a total sum of one billion dollars.

“Very wide investment opportunities exist within the agricultural value chain both within the country and internationally, especially now that there is the need to increase export of non-oil commodities to earn foreign exchange for the financing of the nation’s economy.”

According to Onasanya, the four-day training is carefully structured to equip participants that include aspiring fish farmers and retiring executives both in the private and public sectors among others with relevant knowledge of best practices in aquaculture.

It is aimed at broadening their practical experience in fish juvenile and feed production as well as expose the participants to investment opportunities available in the fish farming, he said.

“The training programme has a special focus on the overview of fisheries development in Lagos State; Fish Culture System and Management, Water Quality Management and Disease Control.

“Prospect of Cage and Pen Culture System in Lagos State; Hatchery Management and Fingerlings Production and Fish Feed Formulation and Nutrition.

“Fish Farming Insurance and Fish Preservation, Processing, Packaging, Marketing and Export Potential,” he said.

The permanent secretary noted that the goal of the state was to be self-sufficient in fish production as he called for collaborative efforts between the private sector and government in the development of agricultural value-chain.

NAN reports that although 43 persons participated in the training, a total of 912 people had been trained so far since the programme started in 2005 bringing to total 955 beneficiaries.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Agriculture

Lagos Govt. urges water bodies utilisation for aquaculture, residents nutrition

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The Lagos State Government said on Friday said that it would continue to seek new ways of utilising its water bodies to develop aquaculture and also improve residents nutrition.

Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, made the assertion at the ongoing capacity building for fish farmers in Topo, Badagry, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event is organised by the state under World Bank-assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement, Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project.

Onasanya said the government was always working out ways of improving farmers’ standard of living via utilisation of natural endowments.

“We have to improve the nutrition of our people, as well as increase the income of farmers and their standard of living by having more fishes to cultivate to improve their income.

“With the ecology of Lagos State being a coastal and endowed with water bodies, we therefore, need to utilise those water bodies to improve fish production in the state.

“From the Federal Government to all the states in the country, agriculture is the key to development,’’ the permanent secretary said.

He noted that Nigeria needed to reduce its foreign exchange spending on imported agricultural products.

“When you look at the funds expended in importing agriculture commodities and other food products, it is a lot. We can save the country some foreign exchange by improving our agriculture.

“By doing so, importation of food products will reduce, and there will be enough money to do other things like road construction,’’ Onasanya said.

NAN reports that the ongoing APPEALS project in Topo, Badagry, will take farmers through Tilapia Cage Culturing, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging and utilisation of water hyacinth.

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Agriculture

Private partnership will drive food sufficiency, aquaculture sustainability – FISON

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Aquaculture

Lagos, April 10, 2019 The Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) on Wednesday said that there was the need to properly engage the private sector, to attain food sufficiency and aquaculture sustainability.

This is contained in a communique reached after the society’s National Fisheries Conference held recently, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The communique read in part: “Opportunities abound in Nigeria for operators in fisheries and aquaculture industry; and so, off-takers and producers need to know each other.

“The annual fish demand in Nigeria is 3.5 million metric tonnes, while annual production from all sources (artisan, culture and industrial) is 1.1 million metric tonnes, thus, leaving a yawning gap of 2.4 million metric tonnes.

“That is made up for, through import, and also to meet with the annual demand and ensure food security.

“The fisheries and aquaculture industries must be owned and run by private practitioners, while government should provide an enabling environment,’’ Mr John Babatunde, the Acting Director, Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (FDFA),” said.

The stakeholders at the forum also called for continuous training, workshops and collaboration between government and non-state actors, for the growth of the industry.

Dr Lukman Agbabiaka, National President of FISON, noted that there should be product diversity in aquaculture, “that is moving away from catfish production to other culturable species like Labeo Spp’’.

According to the document, “There is the need to shift from tonnage value using the Iceland approach; that is, not producing fish only for the table, as other products can be got from fish.

“Research in fisheries and aquaculture should be demand-driven. In the light of this, industries are enjoined to fund and support research.

“There should be mapping of fish farms; processors and others across the country and also certification of farms and fish products is imperative to be able to export as well as gain the confidence of consumers,” Agbabiaka said.

According to him, for sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture industry, there is need for the unification of stakeholders and non-state actors for publication, advocacy, knowledge sharing and good means of information dissemination.

NNN reports that the National Fisheries Conference hosted by the society was in collaboration with the Federal Department of Fisheries with the theme: “Harnessing the Potential of Non-States Actors in Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in West Africa”.

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Agriculture

Aquaculture: Association urges FG to invest in cold room logistics

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Aquaculture

Lagos, March 13, 2019 The Tilapia and Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN) on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to invest heavily in the  cold chain section of aquaculture to main quality.

The association’s Vice-President, Mr Nurudeen Tiamiyu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos against the backdrop of the just-concluded elections.

Tiamiyu said that such investments would revive the sector and increase local fish production thereby, tackling inflation rate which was greatly affected by the cost of production.

According to him, the incumbent administration should see the next four years as an opportunity to fix food inflation rate which is still in double digit.

“The major reason for the double digit inflation rate year-on-year is as a result of high cost of production. If the Federal Government will tackle the cost of production, then inflation rate will come down to single digit.

“The next level we want to see in the aquaculture sector is that farmers are able to move their produce easily and with minimal cost.

“We want the government to invest more on the cold-room sub-sector that will help maintain and retain the quality of the produce.

“When this is done, then local production will increase and Nigerians will be sure of the quality of fish they eat,” he said.

Tiamiyu also told NNN that interest rates on farmers’ loans were not helping development of the sector as commercial banks still demanded over 22 per cent interest.

He said that there should be stiffer regulations and enforcement of the ban on imported Tilapia and other fishes and fishery products.

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Agriculture

Anambra moves to boost fish, aquaculture business

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Anambra moves to boost fish, aquaculture business

Fish

By Peter Okolie

Onitsha (Anambra) Feb. 18, 2019 (NNN) The Anambra State Government says it has established the state Fishery and Aquaculture Business Development Agency, as part of measures to boost the sector in the state.

Mr Emeka Iloghalu, Managing Director of the Agency, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Monday in Onitsha, that the agency planned to establish fish farm settlements across the state.

Iloghalu said more than 51,000 direct and indirect employments would be generated when the agency became fully operational.

“Fish business is a profitable business which has been neglected due to absence of a regulatory agency in the state.

“This agency was borne out of Gov. Willie Obiano’s desire to institutionalise fishery and aquaculture in the state.

“We have the mandate to engage, guide and regulate activities of fish farmers and investors; and build a value chain that will help grow and stimulate the sector in the state,” the managing director said.

While expressing the hope that through the agency, many youths would become millionaires, Iloghalu said the state government had earmarked N503 million in the 2019 budget to help actualise the plan.

“There are huge potentials in fishery and aquaculture; it is a journey we have started to industrialise the sector within the shortest possible time,” he added. (NNN)

OPC/AO/DOR
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Edited by Angela Okisor/Nyisom Dore

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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