Fish farmers in Ogun State have disclosed that the state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economy generally have improved in recent years through the activities of fish farming.
The farmers, under the aegis of Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR), Ijebu-Ode, said the integrated farming systems run by the association had really boosted fish production.
Olu Okuboyejo, chairman of IDIPR, who spoke on behalf of the farmers at the presentation of N25 million cheque to the group at the Eriwe Farm Village in Ijebu-Ode, by Ronke Sokefun, commissioner for agriculture, said “the Eriwe Farm Village has become a model technology department farm and tourist centre considering its well-practised integrated farming systems.”
Okuboyejo said through government intervention and engagement of competent hands, the Eriwe Farm Village had conducted many programmes and trainings on broods multiplication and improved fish production, which had in return, boosted economic activities in the village while traders benefit directly or indirectly, and thereby increasing the state economic base.
Just as he assured the government of their continuous support for the development of the state economy through continued investment in fish production and constant contribution to the GDP, he also requested government’s intervention in the areas of electrification, dredging of river course and more loan-able funds to support their business.
Responding, Ronke Sokefun, commissioner for agriculture, assured the fish farmers of more government’s support whenever needed and advised other commodity groups to emulate IDIPR in diligence and time management, adding that the loan was one of the state’s empowerment programmes to enable farmers conduct their business with the required funds.
Recalling that it was not the first time loan would be given through Central Bank of Nigeria-supported Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) in the state, Sokefun commended IDIPR, noting that it was the only group that paid back 100 percent of the loan in due time.
She said: ‘’50 percent of the last CACS loan was given to fish farmers and Eriwe was a major benefactor, we are proud of you because the money was used judiciously; and among other groups, you paid back 100 percent in due time, we have the assurance that you will do better, that is why we didn’t hesitate in bringing another one when you requested for it.”