The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has trained 360 fish farmers cooperative groups on production of feeds using local ingredients.
Mandate Secretary for the secretariat, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, in his remark at the training on Tuesday at Gbaupe village in Abuja, said the initiative was to diversify farming in the territory.
Ibrahim said that the beneficiaries were selected based on the registered fish farmers association across the territory.
He said the training would create awareness on technicalities involved in both household and commercial fish production in varieties such as cat fish, Tilapia niloticus and Heterotis Niloticus.
Represented by Mr Yahaya Husseini, the Director Planning, Research and Statistics of the secretariat, said the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, approved the replication of the programme in all the six Area Councils of the territory.
This, according to him, will ensure that 100,000 fish farmers in FCT are adequately sensitised.
He said the training, which was free, had assorted fishery inputs including fish fingerlings and fish feeds for the 200 participants to enable them to grow their businesses.
According to the secretary, records indicate that Nigeria ranks amongst one of the highest fish producing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with an annual production of 1.1 million tonnes.
”Local demand stands at about 3.6 million annually, which the FCT has its fair share in the figures.”
Earlier, the Director, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Ifeoma Okeke, said the beneficiaries had been well sensitised to the programme.
“We have sensitised our farmers to
the diversification of aquaculture, through the promotion of oreochromis
culture, they will further be trained today on the management practices.
“Let the fish farmers take today’s training seriously and put to use the new
knowledge that will be gained today.
”And to the beneficiaries, consider
yourselves lucky and reciprocate this good gesture of the FCT administration by sustaining Tilapia culture in FCT,” she said.
She said the staff of the department would visit the farms from time to time to offer further technical assistance when needed.
“I am pleased to inform the Mandate Secretary that fish dealers in
FCT have decided to come together under one umbrella – the Unified fish
farmers, sellers and processors.”
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chairman, FCT Unified Farmers, Sellers Association, Abdulhafiz Afegbua said the training and empowerment would add value to fish farming in the territory. (NAN)