THE Chief Trade Promotion Council (CTPU) officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Abuja, Mr Afolabi Bello, says the promotion council will partner Anambra State Government on fish processing, packaging and exportation of fish from its aquaculture farms.
Mr. Bello, stated this on Friday, at the one day sensitization and demonstration workshop for fish practitioners (farmers, processor, marketers and exporters), with the theme; “Compliance to Importing Countries Requirements for Export of Fishery Products; Developing, Establishing and Sustaining the Total Structure and Framework”, held in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
According to him, the council is in the state to train fish farmers and all other value chain practitioners in the state, on how to adopt international best practices in fishery industry, which include; proper feeding, drying and smocking of fish that will aides fish production, processing, packaging and exportation.
Mr. Bello who lamented the poor rate of fish exportation in the country and the negligence towards the sector, called on the Federal Government to provide necessary amenities that can help encourage the teaming unemployed youths in the country to participate.
While commending the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for his effort toward the diversification of the economy in the state, urged the trainees to always smoke the fish properly to avoid the risk of Cancer.
Dr Afam Mbanefo, the state Commissioner for Agriculture Mechnisation and Natural Resources, in his part during the workshop, said with the 80 per cent commitment of Willie Obiano administration on agricultural development in the last four and half years, the State do not need to import fish anymore; rather we shall soon be exporting fish because we now have the facilities and manpower for the fish export business.’’
The commissioner explained further that the state government, under its youth empowerment programme, had trained many youths and women in agribusiness.
Mbanefo said in our value chain training programmes in 2016, 300 youths, comprising 140 males and 60 females, received training. Besides, between 2017 and early 2018, more than 100 youths got training in entrepreneurship.
There are also ADP agricultural extension training going on now under the N-Power programme and about 400 graduates in various fields are participating in the programme.
A fisheries consultant, Mrs Abiodun Cheke, who is the resource person, urged the citizens in the state to embrace agribusiness, adding that only agriculture could aid the survival of this present society of Nigeria.
Cheke said only agriculture can sustain human beings and the society.
To her, you can have money and every other investment, but without farming in your backyard, you are going nowhere.
The convener and the Senior Special Adviser to governor Willie Obiano, and Manager, Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development, Anambra state, Mr. Emeka Iloghalu, who briefed the participants on his achievement recorded so far, said that one of its aquaculture farms, located at House Tully Farm and Factory Facility in Okpuno, Awka North Local Government Area of the state, had fish hatcheries, earth ponds, a feed mill and a fish processing unit, and with the completion of other disgnated fish ponds project in the three senatorial district, Anambra will begin in full, fish exportation.
He urged the residents to engage and support the state government’s efforts to develop the agricultural sector.