Stakeholders, experts and participants in the fishery and aquaculture value chain have presented a 10-years development plan to improve the catfish sector by 2032.
The stakeholders made the presentation plan on Tuesday at a FISH4ACP workshop for selected fishery and Aquaculture farmers in Lagos.
The development plan projected that by 2032, it foresees a 20 per cent increase of catfish production that would lead to 30 per cent more benefit, in particular for small-scale aquaculture producers
They include Mr Ime Umoh, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja and Mrs Urszula Sołkiewicz, International Partnerships Officer of the EU Delegation in Nigeria.
Others are Dr Fred Kafeero, FAO’s Representative in Nigeria and to the ECOWAS and Dr Amadou Tall, Team Leader PESCAO/ECOWAS.
FISH4ACP is an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) implemented by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
It also has funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), works to make fish value chains more productive and sustainable.
They said Nigeria’s huge catfish sector can improve production and offer better jobs without additional burden on the environment.
The experts discussed concrete action to achieve the strategy’s ambitious goals, FISH4ACP strategy was for improved production, better jobs and reduced carbon footprint of catfish aquaculture.
Umoh, said Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of African catfish which millions of people’s livelihoods depend.
He was represented by Mr Ibrahim Abubakar, Deputy Director, Planning in the ministry stated that by 2032, the plan foresees a 20 per cent increase of catfish production
He said that it foresees a 10 per cent growth of employment and the health of workers would improve due to measures reducing air pollution and others.
“Our goal is to improve domestic catfish production, not only in quantity, but also in quality, while providing better jobs for our people and making sure no harm is done to the environment,”
“The 10 year strategy was developed by the global fish value chain development initiative ‘FISH4ACP’ with stakeholders from across the Nigerian catfish sector.
“The stakeholders lays down a roadmap for better quality and increased production of fresh and processed catfish, more income and employment for millions of small-scale farmers and workers.
“It also provide a climate adapted approach that would reduce environmental and health impacts.
“By 2032, the plan foresees a 20 per cent increase of catfish production that would lead to 30 per cent more benefit, in particular for small-scale aquaculture producers.
“At the same time, there would be a 10 per cent growth of employment and the health of workers would improve due to measures reducing air pollution, while at the same time halting deforestation, protecting waters and wildlife,” he said.
Urszula Sołkiewicz, International Partnerships Officer of the EU Delegation in Nigeria said that FISH4ACP’s was a flag bearer of the EU’s development support for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
She said that the project would make a difference to Nigeria’s catfish sector.
“This ambitious plan for a more sustainable catfish sector that offers prosperity to small-scale producers and better jobs to fish workers while reducing its carbon footprint fits the sustainable development agenda that Europe supports.
Dr Fred Kafeero, FAO’s Representative in Nigeria and to the ECOWAS said that Nigeria is one of the twelve countries where FISH4ACP is holding.
Kafeero, represented Abubakar Usman, said that participants would discuss the strategy in details and agree on concrete activities to actualise them.
“Over the next two days, some 50 stakeholders and experts involved in Nigeria’s catfish aquaculture will discuss the strategy in detail until they agree on a set of concrete activities to carry them out.
“There outcome will set the agenda for FISH4ACP in the years to come and beyond its completion in 2025. FAO is happy to support Nigeria’s ambition to increase and improve its domestic catfish production.
“FISH4ACP’s innovative value chain approach is a fine example of how FAO’s core objectives of Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life can become a reality in Nigeria,” he said.
Dr Amadou Tall, Team Leader PESCAO/ECOWAS representative said the 15 countries that made up ECOWAS was happy to be part of the programme.
Tall added that ECOWAS have very strong relationship with the Federal government and the ministry of Agriculture and rural development on fishery and aquaculture.
He said that ECOWAS have secured 500 million dollars to develop agriculture.
Mr Audu, Director Fisheries in the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture urged the participants to own the project and become a reference point to other participating countries.
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