Sixty farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been selected to receive a variety of fishery inputs in order to help the territory’s fish farming.
Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Mandate Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) said that the assistance will enable them to begin fish production in their various Area Councils.
Ibrahim announced this at the kick-off of a sensitization workshop on diversifying FCT aquaculture through the promotion and empowerment of beneficiaries yesterday in Abuja.
He stated that the secretariat, through the Department of Fisheries, will use its technical skills to monitor participants’ progress in order to ensure that the initiative’s goal is met.
The mandate Secretary said:”Available records have shown that Catfish production accounts for about 80% of all farmed fish in Nigeria, making it the largest producer of Catfish in sub-Saharan Africa.
“It is however expedient to note that with the rapid growth and development of the fisheries and aquaculture industry, the consumption of edible fish has witnessed a sharp rise which can largely be attributed to urbanization, change in lifestyle of families, and most importantly, the medical benefits associated with its consumption”
Ibrahim said it is against this background that the Secretariat through the Department of Fisheries is flagging off the sensitisation workshop aimed at not only exposing Fisher folks to other fish varieties such as (Tilapia niloticus and Hoterotis Niloticus) but train them on effective production techniques for house-hold consumption and commercial purposes.
Earlier in her remarks, the FCT Director, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Ifeoma Okeke said the fisheries sub-sector contributes to both the FCT and National economy through employment and income generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and provision of raw materials for the animal feed industry.
She, however, revealed that over 10 million Nigerians are actively engaged in primary and secondary fisheries operations.
The sixty beneficiaries drawn from all the six area councils in the FCT were given starter packs.