THe Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research has conducted a workshop for entrepreneurs on aquaculture production and fish processing.
Speaking during the workshop which was held in Lagos on Tuesday, the executive Director and Chief Executive Officer NIOMR, Dr Gbola Akande, said that the workshop was targeted at young unemployed graduates and women adding that the fisheries sector currently occupied a very prominent position in the economy of Nigeria.
He said, “This is because fisheries and aquaculture play major roles in employment generation, poverty alleviation, food security, foreign exchange earning especially for the rural poor. The total demand for fish in Nigeria for 2015 was 3.26 million tonnes according to the Federal Department of Fisheries, whereas total domestic production in the same year was 1.027 million tonnes.
“Part of the deficit of 2.233 million tonnes is currently met by imports. Nigeria spends about $1bn importing fish and our goal is to be self-sufficient in fish production. This deficit in fish production can be met through local production by engaging our youths and women in aquaculture production in a more sustainable manner for increased fish production and better standard of living.”
He identified fish farming as a business venture with lots of potential investment opportunities.
“It is a veritable tool for increased fish production, creation of employment opportunities, alleviating poverty through sustainable livelihoods. To this end, sustainable aquaculture systems must e put in place to kick start the mass production of farmed fish,” he said.
According to the institute, after the programme, the trainees will be empowered with starter packs to start their own fish farming business, adding that the starter packs consist two plastic log book for record keeping and other essential
“The programme is part of the Green Initiative of the President, General Muhammadu Buhari ‘s administration aimed at the development of the agriculture sector as a whole,”akande added.