Benin, Nov. 10, 2023: The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security on Thursday expressed its willingness to reposition the fisheries and aquaculture sub-sector with a view to bridging the gap between production and demand.
It is also to increase the nation’s food and nutrition security.
Speaking at the 44th national Fisheries Development Committee (NFDC) meeting in Benin, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said that the meeting was to strategize on the Presidential Priorities and Ministerial Deliverables for the 2023-2027 period.
Umakhihe noted that the importance of fisheries and aquaculture to contribute to food and nutrition security, poverty eradication, wealth generation and employment, could not be overemphasized.
The permanent secretary’s keynote address was delivered by Mr. Wellington Omoragbon, Director, Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
He urged the NFDC and all fisheries stakeholders present at the meeting to know that their efforts in developing memorandums would play a strategic role in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda in boosting the nation’s food and nutrition security.
“It is significant to note that the federal government through the Ministry has introduced some measures in the past year, allowing the Fisheries sector to gain desired prominence.
“At this session, all issues peculiar to fisheries development such as capacity building, fish feed production, mariculture and cage culture, certification amongst others will be discussed.
“I expect you to discuss the memoranda presented at this meeting with full professionalism so as to come up with practical solutions to the problems we wish to solve in the fisheries sector.
Also speaking at the occasion, Edo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food security, Mr. Stephen Idehenre, said that fish farmers had benefited a lot from so many Fisheries projects as a result of the state governor’s agricultural policy over the past seven years .
Idehenre noted that Gov. Godwin Obaseki had also given approval for a land for the state Fisheries department along Ogba River basin to be acquired for a new phase of fisheries cluster activities.
“With the approval of Mr. Governor, the state Fisheries department has also been given the green light to commence the training of fish farmers on value addition to mitigate risk associated with post-harvest losses in fish farms,” he said.