Gombe – Nigeria requires 2.6 million tonnes of fish annually to meet its consumers’ needs, Gombe State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Dahiru Buba-Biri, has said.
Buba-Biri made the statement in a message to the opening of a training workshop on aquaculture for youths and women in the North-East, in Gombe on Tuesday.
Represented by the Director of Administration of the ministry, Mr. Yakson Nonge, the commissioner said the current domestic fish production was about 600,000 tonnes.
He said currently, the country spent N50 billion on the importation of frozen fish annually.
The commissioner said the challenge informed the Federal Government’s decision to promote local production of fish.
“The Federal Government has realised that the way forward is to ensure that the immense potential in aquaculture in addition to marine coastal offshore fisheries is exploited,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said that at the end of the training, each trainee would be supported with fish feeds and fingerlings to start their fisheries.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Gender and Youths, Hajiya Karima Babangida, the permanent secretary said the trainees would be assisted to secure loans to set up their businesses.
“They will be assisted to access credit from the Bank of Agriculture for production and Bank of Industry for processing and packaging in order to expand their businesses,” she said.
She urged the trainees to be committed and support efforts aimed at achieving fish production targets in the country.
Mr Bala Gimba, the Gombe State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the training was funded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Office for the achievement of goals one and two.
Women and youths from the six states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Yobe and Taraba attended the workshop. (NAN)
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