By: Zakari Aliyu
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded plans to empower Fish farmers to enhance the quantity and quality of fish produced in the Territory.
The empowerment includes fisheries and other inputs and aimed at assisting farmers become more productive, thereby, improving their income.
Secretary, FCT Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, disclosed this at a symposium as part of activities to commemorate the International Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) Day, 2023.
The symposium brought stakeholders in Fisheries and aquaculture from within and outside the Nation’s Capital together to foster the discourse on this year’s theme:“Building a global safety net for small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture”.
The Secretary, who was represented at the event by the Director, Administration, and Finance of the Secretariat, Mallam Ishaq Abubakar Sadeeq, stressed the importance of growing Fish as a product not only for its rich nutritional value and food security but the economic benefits associated with it.
He expressed the desire of the Secretariat to ensure that small-scale fishermen who he said constitute a very high percentage of fish farmers in the FCT are empowered to enhance both the quantity and quality of fish produced in the FCT.
His words: “It is to this end that the Secretariat has been consistent in providing affordable and quality inputs to fish farmers in FCT. You will recall that in November 2022, the Secretariat distributed over 60 Million Naira worth of assorted fishery inputs.”
Ibrahim promised that the Secretariat would always support and encourage Fish Farmer’s activities in FCT; stating that the support will go a long way in assisting small-scale fish farmers to boost their production.
Ibrahim, however, lamented that despite being blessed with abundant water resources, the country still relies heavily on importation to meet the local demands.
He, therefore, charged stakeholders to see the event as an opportunity to take a more critical look at the issues that have mitigated the growth of the sector.
The Secretary commended the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu for approving the establishment of the FCT Aquaculture and Allied Trades Centre for Youth and Women at Kuka village in Kwali, which he stated has continued to train and offer sustainable means of livelihood to residents through fish farming.
Speaking earlier, the Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Secretariat, Ifeoma Okeke revealed that the Secretariat has been making efforts to sensitise farmers on venturing into newer fish varieties other than the Catfish so as to be able to break into the global market.
Okeke said that recognition of individuals for awards at the event was to appreciate their contributions to the development of the sector in the FCT.