Nigeria is well placed to grow its aquaculture sector, helped by a recent training programme, according to the head of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR).
Speaking at a recent training session for over 100 participants Dr Sule Abiodun said that, as the country’s population approaches 250 million people, training more fish farmers is vital to reduce fish imports.
Dr Abiodun’s representative at the event, Ayabu Cookey, added that the institute aims to promote net pen aquaculture in particular.
“The increase in the fish army that we are training is a simple economics because once supply outweighs demand the cost will fall. This is how we can approach the food inflation trend in Nigeria and the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation,” he is reported to have said in All Africa.
“As a world class institution, we have been into fish research especially in aquaculture since 1975 and have a vision and mission to drive this industry and that is why we put a premium on international training of our researchers. All these farmers that are trained would help reduce the fish demand in the country,” he stated.
Those taking part in the project viewed it as a timely response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This will make us self-sufficient and self-reliant, with this training one can start something and train other youth within our community,” one of them is reported to have said in All Africa.
Meanwhile Senator Aliyu Abdullahi stressed that the aquaculture training project was in line with the government’s drive diversify the country’s food production systems.
“We are just trying to key into the federal government’s plan of diversification taking into account the population rate and the supply of fish is not sufficient. So all this is to contribute our own quota into the main fish production for the consumption of the populace,” he said.