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FCTA donates N17 million worth starter packs, miniplots to fish farmers

...As Nigeria’s annual fish demand hits 3.5 million metric tonnes 

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has donated N17 million worth starter packs to fish farmers in the Territory.

Each starter packs comprises: 2 nos fish culture tanks, 500 fish seeds10 bags of fish feed, 30 brooded chicks, 2 bags of poultry feed (Starter and Finisher), Poultry vaccines, vitamins and 4 drinkers 4 feeders.

The Administration also allocated miniplots for integrated farming, made of up fish culture, poultry, micro livestock farming and Olericulture, and has Administration through Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat provided a farmhouse and a well equipped value addition Center.

Ramatu Aliyu, FCT Minister of State who made this known during the official commissioning of the Acquaculture and Allied Trades Centre for the Empowerment of Women and Youths in FCT at Kwali Area Council on Tuesday, said the programme was a pilot scheme starting with 50 beneficiaries.

Aliyu said the FCTA projected that in full capacity, the Center will not only bridge the gap in meeting demands for fish in the FCT, but it will also encourage the setting up of businesses as it relates to the aquaculture value chain, thereby generating the much needed jobs for teeming unemployed women and youths.

She stated that the FCTA decision to adopt the empowerment approach is inspired by its commitment to clearly articulate a path of economic self-reliance for individuals particularly in gainful ventures such as aquaculture and allied trades.

“This is a pilot scheme that was designed to mark my 100 days in office.  You will recall that during my inauguration, I made my plans very clear to pursue the implementation of programmes that will have direct impact on the lives of residents especially the less privileged groups in the grassroot areas.

“Our vision with my colleague, the Honourable Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, is to build a strong economic base for our rural dwellers who as you know make up the bulk of the FCT population, and to engage them in productive ventures that will enhance their capacities to earn meaningful source of living thereby improving their socio-economic status

“I therefore call on the beneficiaries to mobilise to site as soon as possible and commence production. On our part, efforts will be made to provide all the infrastructures and facilities required for the immediate take-off of the entire Estate”, she added.

The Minister commended development partners such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for their donation of Thiaroye Fish Processing Center at Kado Fish Market, which has helped in improving fish processing besides job generation across the aquaculture value chain.

In his remarks, Mustapha Shehuri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development said presently, Nigeria’s annual national fish demand is 3.5 Million metric tonnes while the total production from all sources is 1.1 Million metric tonnes.

This he said, leaves a demand -suppiy gap of about 2.4 Million Metric Tonnes. This gap is largely met by importation, adding that the fisheries and aquaculture subsector contributes about 4.5% to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs an estimated 10 million Nigerians in the primary and secondary sectors.

Represented by Director of Fisheries and Acquaculture in the Ministry, Ime Umoh, the Minister said: “in recent years, the government of Nigeria made a great paradigm shift under the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) by treating agriculture including fisheries and aquaculture as business and not as a developmental programme. The programme was demonstrated using value chain approach (from inputs to production to processing and marketing)”.

James Kwen, Abuja
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