Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Bukar Tijani, has said that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the ministry would produce N1.25 billion worth of fish feed per annum.
The minister said this in Abuja while inspecting some farm products on exhibition at the 2nd Abaji Fishing Festival at River Gurara in the Yaba Development Area in Abaji Area Council of the FCT.
He said that aquaculture had been identified as an important strategy in the global fight against poverty. According to him, the ministry has identified the development of aquaculture as one of the key areas for attention under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
“The goal is to create an enabling environment for increased and sustainable production of over one million tonnes of aquaculture fish and to generate 500,000 jobs in five years under a four-year work plan. Nigeria can be a major food exporting country, if we do things right, ’’ he said. He called on states and the FCT to be involved in achieving this goal under the Agricultural Transformation Action Plan.
Tijani said that the plan would ensure the production of 400,000 tonnes of fish feed per year and additional production of 250,000 tonnes of table fish per year. He noted that fish importation was among Nigeria’s top four imports, with the country spending about N97 billion on fish importation yearly.
According to him, Nigeria’s food importation is growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent per annum, adding that import dependency was not acceptable or sustainable.
The minister noted that these challenges confronting the country necessitated the Agricultural Transformation Agenda that would wake up Nigeria to and begin to do things differently by producing to feed the teeming population.