By Henry Uche
The Executive Director (ED), Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Dr Sule Abiodun, has reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to meet the demand of its fish consumption considering the massive training of fish farmers in the country.
This is coming as fish contributed to the nation’s composite food index which rose by 16.66 per cent in September compared to 16.00 per cent in August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Speaking at a recent training for over 100 participants selected from different zones in the Niger State, North Senatorial District, the ED said if the massive budgetary allocation for zonal intervention projects across the country by the Federal Government is sustained the nation would meet its fish demand.
He said because the population of the country is already above 200 million people, training more fish farmers became imperative to reduce importation of fish in line with the mandate of the institute.
Represented by Mr Ayabu Cookey, he explained that as more Nigerians are trained on fish production, the institute would leverage vast water resources available to engage in cage culture farming.
‘The increase in the fish army that we are training is 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.
‘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.
Commenting on the significance of the training on the fish value chain, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi stressed that the project was in line with the government diversification drives into the agro-economy initiative.
‘We are just trying to key into the FG plan of diversification taking into account the population rate and the supply of fish is not sufficient. So all these are ways to contribute our quota into the main fish production for the consumption of the populace.’