The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday in Abuja, distributed assorted fishery inputs to 2,000 individuals and fishery cooperative groups from the six Area Councils of the Territory.
The Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, distributed the inputs that included fish tanks, feeds, smoking kilns, fishing nets, hooks and liners, cold storage facilities, fish drugs and fingerlings.
While distributing the inputs, Aliyu said that the items would boost fish production as a means of achieving sustainable food and nutrition security,
She said that the fisheries and aquaculture sub-sector is one of the fastest-growing agricultural ventures in Nigeria, contributing significantly to the nation’s economy in terms of employment generation and poverty alleviation.
Other benefits she listed were foreign exchange earnings and a source of raw materials for the animal feed industry.
“With records showing an increasing global demand for fish, we see the fish sector as having the capacity to accommodate and empower the teeming population of youths, who are trooping into the FCT for white collar jobs which are not readily available,” the minister said.
Aliyu said that in spite of the challenges of a rapidly growing population, the FCT Administration had been working hard to provide the enabling environment for all to operate and earn a meaningful source of livelihood.
“It is against this backdrop that the FCT Administration sustained its support programmes, which has resulted in the development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
“It is heartwarming to note that the Aquaculture and Trades Centre, Kuka which was constructed in 2022, is delivering on the set objectives.
“So far, the centre has trained and empowered over 1000 youths and women whose products are sold at different markets within and outside the FCT,” she said.
The minister said that the FCT administration had started to sensitise and train fish farmers in the six area councils to promote the production of other fish varieties apart from other than the popular catfish.
This she added was a strategy to further harness the opportunities in the sector.
Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, Mandate Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development said the nation’s capital was endowed with huge natural fisheries resources, as evidenced in its network of rivers, streams, natural and man-made dams.
Ibrahim assured of the secretariat’s commitment to introducing new innovations in the fishery and aquaculture sector.
He reiterated that the secretariat had widened its scope of support from not only the provision of inputs but also to building the capacities of fish farmers.
According to him, this is to ensure that they can easily transition from household production to commercial production.
“The secretariat has been making efforts to promote the production of fish in new and more commercially viable fish varieties such as Tilapia.
“In achieving this objective, the synergy with stakeholders such as the Catfish Producers Association of Nigeria (CATPAN) has been strengthened.
“We have been in collaboration with the association that encouraged fish farmers to organise themselves into cooperatives so as to make it easy to access government support programmes,’’ the secretary said.
According to him, the secretariat had since past one year trained more than 2,600 fish farmers across the six area councils of the territory.
Do you have a flare for Citizenship Journalism? Share story(ies) of happenings in your area with The NewsZenith on WhatsApp: 08033668669 or email@example.com