Delta govt. reaffirms commitment to boost fish production



Mr Julius Egbedi, Delta Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to boost fish production in the state.

Egbedi said this on Wednesday, while declaring open a two-day workshop for fish farmers tagged, “Fisher Folks Training”.

The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Delta Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (DARDA), Ibusa.

He assured the trainees of the state government’s readiness to provide the enabling environment to enable them to produce enough fish to meet local demand and export.

According to the commissioner,  “it is unfortunate that we are still importing ‘iced Fish’, even when we are into both aquaculture and artesian fish farming.

“Fish farming is an interesting aspect of agriculture and the state government will always support our farmers by creating an environment that will make it possible for you to produce enough for local consumption.

“We shall assist you to have maximum production, create wealth for yourselves and jobs for others, but you must be committed to this training and put it into practice to grow the state economy and that of the country.”

Egbedi charged the farmers to explore other funding opportunities to grow their business, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loans for farmers.

He said that the CBN loan was a revolving one, adding that the commitment to repay would encourage government to do more so that more funds would be made available to other farmers in the country.

He said that the private sector had been identified to be the driver of any economy in the world. He therefore advised the participants to ensure that they met the expectations of government, which had committed the resources to train them.

The commissioner thanked the federal government for committing resources to train the farmers in the state and solicited more collaboration in other areas.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, represented by the state Director in the ministry, Mr Felix Kehis, said the training would offer farmers the opportunity to explore the fish value chain and create wealth from fish farming as a business.

He expressed the hope that the farmers would become better informed at the end of the training.

He said that the federal government particularly targeted the youths in order to empower them, with a view to reducing unemployment and restiveness in society.

Mr Dickson Oki, who spoke on behalf of other participants, lauded the government for initiating such programmes and pledged their commitment to the training and fish production as a business.

He, however, called for government’s funding and more training to sustain the programme and grow it to meet international production standard.

“This training will no doubt empower the youths and reduce restiveness and cultism, but I want the government to also expand the programme to cover more youths in the state,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the training, which was initially slated for 50 youths, had no fewer than 100 persons in attendance.

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