By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo
As part of its effort to reduce the increasing unemployment in the state, the Lagos State Government has establish three commercial fish cages and pen culture system of size 5.7 x 4.8×2.1metres at the lagoon front of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The state also revealed that by the middle of the year, they will be producing there own fish feeds as a way of reducing the price of fish feeds in across the state.
This came shortly after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the institution, yesterday, the commissioner for Agriculture and cooperatives, Mr. Enoch Ajiboso flanked by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusegun Onamuti, which also have in attendance the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Tolu Odugbemi among others.
Ajiboso said that this will serve as part of the state government activities to encourage research works in all the various institutions in the state
â€œI hope that this singular gesture of carrying out along our tertiary institution of learning in the development of agriculture will serve as a reference point for other governmental and non governmental agencies in our quest for self sufficiency in food production.â€ He said.
The commissioner noted that this project will help the students to be involved in the activities which will further help graduates in the state to become the employers of their selves.
Ajiboso added â€œIt will create reduction in Rural Urban migration, create food security and all year round availability of fish which is a major protein for the young and old, increase income for artisanâ€™s fishermen, and reduce cost of labour as compared with other culture methods since the fish depends on natural environment for survival.â€
The commissioner added that this will further bridge the gap between the increasing fish demand and supply across the state,
Ajiboso said that the campaign for commercial fish cage and pen culture system of fish farming stated across the state with a pilot scheme in six fishing communities in the state on 30th December 2007.
The areas include Idale Whedakoh in Bdadagry Local Government, Oto/Awori, Badore, Ijede, Ise, Oko-Orisan.
He noted that the development that has lead to the cropping of 2,000kg of fish with average weight of 1kg at Gbaji-Yeke in Badagry west local council development area.
The commssioner promised that the state government will also extend this type of gesture to other tertiary institution within the state.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Tolu Odugbemi who was represented by the deputy vice-chancellor, Prof. Modupe Ogunlesi assured the state governments that the institution will strive add to ensure that the project is sustained.
On the reduction of the fish feeds, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of agriculture and cooperative, Onamuti said â€œthe state government is looking at away of reducing fish feeds as this will be part of the ways the state government intends to ensure that fishermen in the state still remain in the fishing business.â€